What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 19, 2013

More Momentum For Peduto

From the Tribune-Review:
City Councilman Bill Peduto grabbed the front-runner status he once claimed to have in the Pittsburgh mayoral race, seizing on growing disapproval of chief opponent Jack Wagner in the campaign's bitter, final weeks, a Tribune-Review poll shows.

Peduto surged ahead of Wagner to stake a 42 percent to 33 percent lead among 400 likely voters a week before the decisive Democratic primary on Tuesday, according to the poll by Susquehanna Polling and Research. The poll shows a 9-point gain for Peduto, 48, of Point Breeze and a 7-point drop for Wagner, 65, of Beechview since an April 1-2 survey by the Harrisburg firm.
The Trib even has some art work to illustrate the swing if you wanna go see it.

The context of the earlier poll is important.  If we sort by the change in percentage points between the two polls, we might be able to see where support was lost and where it was gained.
  • Peduto - 9 point gain (up to 42 from 33 percent)
  • Wheatley - 2 point gain (up to 6 from 4 percent)
  • Undecided - 4 point loss (down to 16 from 20 percent)
  • Wagner - 7 point loss (down to 33 from 40 percent)
  • Richardson - No change
  • Other - No change
The big looser, then, according to this poll has to be Jack Wagner.  Of the overall shift of 11 points (what Peduto and Wheatley "gained" and what Wagner and the Undecideds "lost") more than half came from Wagner.

The Trib presents a few ideas why:
“It looks to me like whatever the Wagner folks have done might have backfired,” said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling and Research. “All the movement has clearly gone to Peduto.”
Mudslinging that punctuated advertising during the past three weeks, including an anti-Peduto ad from a Republican consultant hired by a Ravenstahl political committee, impacted Wagner's popularity.

“The credibility of the mayor at this point is rapidly decreasing, and that has hurt Jack Wagner,” said Gerald Shuster, a political analyst with the University of Pittsburgh. He said Wagner has not distanced himself from Ravenstahl as a federal investigation of city spending moves closer to the mayor's office.
The Trib quoted a Wagner spokesman saying that they'd "disavowed" the Ravenstahl ads.  You remember, those, right? The swiftboat ads?  It looks like Luke's swiftboat ads damaged Wagner's credibility.

Another really smart move from the soon-to-be former boy-mayor.

But of course, none of this means anything if Pittsburgh's Democrats don't vote.  So:
Both campaigns said they would focus on Sunday and Monday on “get out the vote” efforts, noting that voter turnout could make the difference. Peduto will “be out on the street,” Toler said, and Wagner scheduled 20 events between Friday and Tuesday to allow him and about 400 volunteers to meet people, Abbott said.

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