With only seven days left until the primary, the District has come down with mayoral race fever, and the only cure is more polls. Two media organizations obliged today, with NBC 4 and the Washington Post both coming out with new numbers that confirm that Muriel Bowser and Vince Gray lead the field. (Washington City Paper and WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show had their own out on Friday, showing a 27-27 tie at the top. More details of that survey will be released tomorrow.)
Bowser has 30 percent of likely voters to Gray’s 27 percent in the Post poll, while the NBC 4/Marist poll puts them at 28 and 26 percent, respectively. Both polls put the two leading challengers within the margin of error of one another.
Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies says he factored a close race into his campaign strategy.”We always expected this election to come down to the wire,” Thies tells LL.
With his candidate gaining on Gray, Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff claimed vindication for his months-long claim that the race is between two candidates.
“The mayor’s stuck,” Shuff says. “He has a pretty good solid core of folks. It’s not growing at all.”
Tommy Wells came in third in the Post poll with 14 percent, while Jack Evans and Andy Shallal both received 6 percent. Reta Lewis and Vincent Orange both received 3 percent of the vote. In the NBC 4 poll, Wells received 11 percent, Evans 9 percent, Shallal and Orange 4 percent, and Lewis 2 percent.
Both polls also considered candidates’ chances against independent challenger David Catania. Gray and Catania polled at 43 percent and 37 percent in the NBC 4 poll, respectively, while Bowser/Catania came down to 46 percent to Bowser and 26 percent to Catania. The Post poll had similar numbers, with Gray and Catania tied with 41 percent of respondents each and Bowser beating Catania 56 percent to 23 percent.
Catania campaign manager Ben Young blames his boss’s poor showing against Bowser on media focus on Gray during the primary and Bowser’s year-long campaigning.
“It’s a primary on who should not be mayor,” Young says. “And we intend to make it a general on who should be mayor.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery