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A new day, a new poll. This one, by Clarus Research Group, gives D.C. Council Chairman and mayoral hopeful Vincent Gray a slight lead over Mayor Adrian Fenty. Overall, Gray leads Fenty 39 to 36 among Democratic voters, and 41 to 36 among those voters who are “very likely” to actually go out and vote.

The most interesting data is on race, which sums up what everyone pretty much already knew: white people love Fenty, black people love Gray.

Only 21 percent of white men, and 17 percent of white women polled support Gray, while only 19 percent of black men and 15 percent of black women support Fenty.

Things get worse for Fenty when he goes head to head with Gray without Leo Alexander, Sulaimon Brown and Ernest Johnson on the ballot. In that hypothetical, respondents to the poll gave Gray a 44 to 38 lead of all those polled, and a 46 to 38 points of likely voters.  That 8 point lead matches what LL reported from another poll on Monday. (Except those people are on the ballot, so it’s not clear why that matters.)

Clarus notes that Gray had only a 4 point lead over Fenty in a head-to-head poll taken in November 2009. But Fenty’s approval rating has gone up from 41 percent in the November poll to a current 49 percent.

The takeaway from Clarus’ point of view: “Voter turnout could well determine the winner of the mayoral primary. A high white turnout is clearly Fenty’s best path to victory. Conversely, a high African American turnout is Gray’s best path to winning the primary.” Duh.

In the Council Chairman race, Kwame Brown polled 12 points higher than Vincent Orange in likely voters.

The poll talked to 501 registered Dems, and has a margin of error 4.4 percent.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery