Polling data released by the Lynne Abraham campaign Thursday held that the former district attorney drew 30 percent support from “voters representing the likely [primary] electorate,” a figure that topped Jim Kenney and Anthony Williams’ combined tally.
Kenney and Williams drew 14 percent with Nelson Diaz (6), Milton Street (5) and Doug Oliver (2) all trailing. Twenty-nine percent of respondents checked in as undecided.
According to The Mellman Group memo (PDF), “Abraham’s strength is grounded in a substantial image advantage. … She is significantly better-liked than the other contenders, with favorable ratings 22 points higher than Jim Kenney’s and 21 points higher than Tony Williams’.”
With a 4.4-percent margin of error, the results were gleaned from a telephone poll of 500 likely voters interviewed between March 14 and 17.
To be sure, the Abraham camp trumpeted these results widely.
“The one thing that is important is I have strength upon which to build and the public recognizes my strength already. This is just going to reinforce it,” she said in an Inquirer story that also quoted media consultant Larry Ceisler as noting that the results weren’t surprising.
When NinetyNine caught up with Abraham late Thursday afternoon, she said it was “extremely gratifying to have this kind of support” and considered the results an affirmation that “people want their next leader to be a strong, tough, trusted, experienced honest mayor.”
She also noted that the perceived negative of opponents having launched television ads earlier than she has could be a positive. As in, voters might think the “tremendous amounts of money being poured into the campaigns by special-interest groups gives the appearance of the mayor’s office being bought.”
“This is an important bellwether of the way my candidacy is being received,” Abraham told NinetyNine. “People want to know that the person seeking to hold the office of mayor is highly regarded and respected across all lines.”
What others are saying
The Williams campaign declined to comment on the report when contacted Thursday.
The Oliver campaign, however, fired back with a snarky retort which boasted that “results are not random or representative and likely inaccurate, but still show that Oliver leads the pack by ridiculous amounts in the 2015 Mayor’s race.”
“He garners 60 percent of the vote, 43 points ahead of his closest rival, Mr. or Ms. Undecided (17%), and a full 50 points ahead of both Jim Kenney (10%) and Tony Williams (10%),” it stated (PDF).
Kenney’s campaign took a decidedly different tact in responding: “We’re very confident in our path to victory and a poll funded by Ms. Abraham certainly doesn’t change that.”