Wednesday, November 02, 2011

WISH-TV Poll Good News For Ballard

A WISH-TV poll conducted by EPIC-MRA shows Mayor Greg Ballard with an 11% lead over Democrat Melina Kennedy. With less than a week before the election, the poll shows Ballard leading the Indianapolis mayor's race with 44% compared to just 33% expressing a preference for Kennedy. Only 2% expressed a preference for Libertarian Chris Bowen, while 21% of the voters are still undecided.

The only bad news in the poll for Ballard is the fact that he has not broken the 50% mark with just days left in the campaign. The poll, however, found that 65% of the voters viewed Ballard favorably,and 62% of the voters approve of the job he is doing. A majority, 55%, believe the city is headed in the right direction compared to just 33% who believe it is heading in the wrong direction, a number that matched Kennedy's support in the poll.

The polling sampling included 400 registered voters and has a margin of error rate of 4.9%. The sampling was made up of 47% identifying themselves as Democratic compared to 36% identifying themselves as Republican. The number of African-Americans included in the survey was 22%, a number that will draw criticism from some that it under samples black voters, who traditionally vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Other minority groups made up 2% of the polling sample.

One could make a mistake in putting too much stock in this poll. Four years ago, WISH-TV's poll showed Peterson garnering 52% of the vote despite a plurality of voters thinking the city was headed in the wrong direction compared to 39% for Ballard. Peterson wound up narrowly losing to Ballard. By contrast, Ballard's positives are much higher than Peterson's were four years ago, but he is polling well below 50% with one in five voters still undecided six days before the election. One very bright spot in the poll for Kennedy was its finding that Kennedy led Ballard 44% to 30% among those voters surveyed who said they had voted absentee already.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Kennedy failed to define Ballard early on, giving him a pass on so many of the unpopular things he's done in office. The reason why is undoubtedly because Kennedy, who is cut from insider cloth, doesn't want to alienate the insiders who have benefited from those deals.

I thought the number of undecideds was remarkable.

Vox Populi said...

Typically such a large pool of undecided voters this close to the election would be very bad news for the incumbent, as they almost always swing to the challenger on election day. This time I'm not so sure. This poll sample is strange. With a 57% Democratic sample I'm surprised to see only a 22% black voter representation, when it should be closer to 30%.

Trust me when I say the Carson machine will turn out the vote in Center Township, and the election for Lawrence Mayor has demoralized a lot of Republican voters up there since Ricketts is such an embarrassing disaster.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think you mean 47% Democratic, Vox. Ballard's numbers below 50% don't make sense if his approval rating is that high, unless it's simply a reflection of the demographic shift in favor of the Democrats and there are a number of voters who won't vote for him simply because of his party affiliation. That doesn't, however, explain Kennedy's low number. I would not have thought it possible for a Democratic candidate to register that low this close to an election. That early voting result is completely upside down from the poll result. There seems to be internal inconsistencies in the poll.

Vox Populi said...

Brian Vargus, who used to run the IU Public Opinion Laboratory, also questioned the poll results in a story published through the Star.

I'm really shocked to see any politician in this environment with a an allegedly-high 65% approval rating.

This is going to be a close election. It's supposed to rain Tuesday, which dampens turnout, so every early vote matters right now.