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Here’s one potential reason that Karl Racine has become the most tempting target in the attorney general race: he’s winning. The top-flight defense attorney has a nine-point advantage over his nearest rival, according to a new poll commissioned by Washington City Paper and WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show.
Racine, a partner at white-shoe law firm Venable, received 22 percent in the poll by Public Policy Polling. Meanwhile, three of Racine’s rivals are jockeying with one another for second place. Edward “Smitty” Smith scored 13 percent in the poll, while Lorie Masters received 12 percent. Paul Zukerberg, who lead the field in a September Post poll, earned 11 percent.
Lateefah Williams, whose campaign lags far behind the others in fundraising, received 4 percent. The poll of 591 likely voters has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. It was conducted Oct. 20-22, and 80 percent of respondents were landline telephone users, while 20 percent were cellphone-only users surveyed over the Internet.
Racine campaign consultant Sean Rankin writes in an email that the poll results show a “clear trajectory for a Racine victory.”
Voters seem to be paying a little bit more attention to the race than they were in September, when the Post poll found 57 percent undecided. The new poll finds that “only” 38 percent—-still more than a third—-haven’t decided who to cast their ballots for.
Despite his candidate’s distance from Racine in the poll, Smitty campaign manager John Rodriguez says he feels good about the results, which he doesn’t think factor in Smitty’s many union endorsements.
“This being a low-information election, it gives the opportunity for us to really pick up a lot of votes,” Rodriguez says of his union support.
Racine is competitive in every ward, while his rivals tend to do better only in one or two each. In wards 1 and 2, Racine runs slightly ahead of Zukerberg, while in Ward 3, he’s nearly tied with Masters. Smitty and Masters take up the second-place positions in wards 4 and 5, while Masters carries Ward 6. In Ward 7, Smitty relegates Racine to second place, while Smitty handily wins his native Ward 8.