Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why early polling isn't important

I'm sure Mary Norwood will be trumpeting her lead in the lastest poll from Insider Advantage.  I still don't think it means much.

Take a look at the demographic breakdown (.doc file) for the latest mayoral poll from Insider Advantage.  Sure, Mary Norwood has three times as much support as the next candidate (36.5% to Lisa Borders 10.4%), but the poll also shows Norwood with 35% of the black vote to Borders' 12% and Reed's 5%.  43% of the entire electorate is still undecided.    There is simply no way these numbers stay this way, and I would be surprised if Norwood really got 1/3 of the black vote when there are two high-quality black candidates with ties to the civil rights movement and/or the current administration in the race.  

I wouldn't put much stock in this polling data until the campaign has really started and ads have started to air.  In some ways, I wonder if this isn't a ceiling for Norwood, as I believe the more folks learn about her the less interested they will become.  This isn't a candidate with a lot of depth, y'know.  Reed and Borders have much heftier resumes and (for Borders at least) a much more compelling personal story.  They also both exude an intellectual capacity I haven't seen in Norwood.  Now, I'm not saying Mary Norwood is stupid, or anything.  Far from it.  I just haven't seen indications of intellectual curiosity in her actions.  But hey, I've been wrong before.

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