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Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser enjoys a comfortable double-digit lead less than two weeks before Election Day, according to a new poll of likely D.C. voters commissioned by Washington City Paper and WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show.
Bowser received 44 percent in the poll, putting her 17 points ahead of independent rival David Catania, who had 27 percent. Carol Schwartz received 10 percent in the poll, while 16 percent of voters in the race are undecided.
Rather than being down, though, Catania campaign manager disputes the poll’s methodology. Young points out that a City Paper/Kojo Show poll taken just under three weeks before April’s Democratic primary showed Vince Gray and Bowser tied. Bowser went on to beat Gray by nearly 11 points.
“The polls are all over the place,” says Young, who claims the race can’t be accurately polled.
Also not convinced: Schwartz, who says the poll doesn’t reflect the support she finds when she’s campaigning. Schwartz claims that her real support would be double what she received in the poll, landing instead at 20 percent.
“I still think that I’m going to fare better than that at the polls on Election Day,” Schwartz says. “Fare far better.”
Bowser’s campaign didn’t have an immediate reaction to the poll’s findings.
The poll by Public Policy Polling was conducted Oct. 20-22 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. 80 percent of respondents were landline telephone users, while 20 percent were cellphone users surveyed over the Internet.
The poll shows a racial divide in the District over the candidates, if not an even one. Catania outpolls Bowser among whites, garnering 47 percent of the white vote to her 27 percent. But African-American voters prefer Bowser to Catania by larger margins, with Bowser receiving 60 percent of the black vote to Catania’s 12 percent. The polls’ respondents were 49 percent black and 41 percent white.
Breaking the poll down by ward, Catania was ahead in wards 1 and 2, while Bowser easily led in wards 5, 7, and 8, as well as her home base in Ward 4. Wards 3 and 6 are both close in the poll, although the smaller sample size for each ward makes the margin of error for the ward-by-ward numbers higher.