Poll: Kenney with substantial lead over mayoral-primary foes

 According to the first independent poll of the mayoral-primary campaign, Jim Kenney has a substantial lead over the rest of the field. (Tracie Van Auken/for NewsWorks)

According to the first independent poll of the mayoral-primary campaign, Jim Kenney has a substantial lead over the rest of the field. (Tracie Van Auken/for NewsWorks)

The first independent poll of the mayoral-primary season shows former City Councilman Jim Kenney with a substantial lead over his opposition.

Asked “if the Democratic Primary for Mayor of Philadelphia were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote?,” 42 percent of respondents answered Kenney with Lynne Abraham and Anthony Hardy Williams tied at 15 percent.

“We are pleased that voters are seeing our opponents’ attacks for what they are, but we’re not taking anything for granted,” said Kenney campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “We’re going to continue to work as hard as ever along with the unprecedented, diverse coalition behind Jim’s campaign to turn out the vote on Election Day.”

Rounding out the field was Nelson Diaz (5), Doug Oliver (3) and Milton Street (3), with 14 percent undecided and 3 percent refusing to answer. The margin of error is +/- four percent.

“Kenney is leading in all parts of the city, overwhelmingly among whites and with healthy support among African Americans, according to the survey, which was commissioned by the Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and NBC10,” according to the Inquirer.

When it comes to favorability, Kenney also leads the pack with 68 percent; other candidates: Abraham (59), Williams (47), Diaz (37), Oliver (28) and Street (22). However, many respondents also noted that they’d not heard, or had little opinion, of Diaz and Oliver.

For comparison’s sake, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former mayor and governor Ed Rendell led that pack with 78 and 75 percent favorability.

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted Saturday through Monday by National Research Inc..

In it, 43-percent feel the city is off-track, while 40-percent say things are trending up, according to NBC10.

According to an Inquirer preview of the poll:

The city’s schools were listed as the top concern by 37 percent of those polled.

Tied at a distant second were reducing crime and bringing jobs to Philadelphia, each of which were cited by 14 percent of those polled.

Those issues were followed by reducing taxes and reducing poverty, which were selected by eight percent of those surveyed. Four percent said focusing on neighborhood development was most important.

“Polls come and go, but what’s been persistent is the education crisis in Philadelphia,” Williams said, in a statement. “That’s what I’ve focused my career on that’s what I will focus on as mayor.”

For more information about the poll, click this link or check the Daily News article.

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