Dem. candidates react to Bluegrass Poll for Metro Mayor


by Joe Arnold

Posted on March 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 15 at 6:13 PM

We have more reaction coming in after the very first poll in the race for Metro mayor.

The WHAS11 News/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll released over the weekend created a stir after it revealed the frontrunners  and those who have work to do before the May primary.

This much is clear, two months from the May 18th primaries no one is running away with either nomination.

And with eight democrats on the primary ballot, that race is shaping up to be like a Derby field with a couple of clear favorites, but in a crowded field, anything could happen.

In the poll for the Democratic Primary for Mayor out of 656 likely voters:

Greg Fischer 20%
David Tandy 17%
Jim King 12%
Tyler Allen 8%
Burrell Charles Farnsley 4%
Lisa Moxley 3%
Connie Marshall 2%
Shannon White 2%
Undecided 32%

Businessman Greg Fischer and Metro Councilman David Tandy are within the margin of error atop the WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll. 

Councilman Jim King is eight points off the lead and 86-64 co-founder Tyler Allen trails by 12.  Somehow all four say they like the poll results.

Fischer said, “We'd thought we'd be toward the top of the race and we were very gratified when we saw that.”

Tandy said, “We're right where we thought we would be at this point in terms of what we're hearing when we talk to voters directly.”

King said, “We're extremely pleased with the poll.“

And Tyler Allen said, “The winner by a landslide is undecided at this point.”

Tyler Allen's right.  32% of likely Democratic voters haven't seen or heard enough to make up their minds.

He said that “means a real opportunity for someone like me who's not a career politician or big money.”

The other four Democrats combine for 11%.  The three women in the race have less support than any of the men including perennial candidate Burrell Charles Farnsley.

Tandy said, “We're certainly excited that more people in Louisville are hearing our message are responding to it. I think what it shows is people are hungry for new, bold leadership.”

Jim King said, “We're extremely pleased with the poll.  I think, we did the math and it's something like 5000 votes separates us from the lead.  And if you move 2500 people, we can do that with one TV commercial, we're in the lead."

King's TV ads are due to start running this week and you'll be seeing a lot of them.  King has loaned his campaign $750,000.

He says Greg Fischer's lead is due to higher name ID after Fischer ran for Senate two years ago.

Greg Fischer replied, “No, I think I'm less well-known than a couple of my opponents who are almost in the newspaper every day because they are with the Metro Council.”

The poll shows that liberal democratic voters are more likely to have made up their mind to the benefit of Fischer, Tandy and Allen, who scores higher than King among liberals.

In the poll for the Democratic Primary of Liberal Voters:

Greg Fischer                  28%
David Tandy                  20%
Tyler Allen                     12%
Jim King                          11%
Undecided                      16%
Margin of Sampling Error +/- 3.9%

Among conservative Democrats is where King is showing strength two months from the election.  But Fischer leads across the board in all demographics.  He was the first candidate to enter the race.

In the poll for the Democratic Primary of Conservative Voters:
Greg Fischer                  18%
Jim King                        13%
David Tandy                  13%
Undecided                     32%
Margin of Sampling Error +/- 3.9%

Fischer said, “that doesn't hurt and I've been working harder than everybody else as well.”

With the field so crowded, I also asked the candidates how much of the vote they would need to win the democratic nomination.

They are saying the primary might be won with as little as 25% of the vote.

Meanwhile, I have just obtained the first of many TV ads planned by democrat Jim King, and he is making news with it.

Acknowledging in the wake of campaign finance questions in the judicial race of his daughter Katie King, the first time you hear Jim King's voice.  He says “Have I made mistakes? Yes.”

He later adds that he has worked hard to do the right thing for his family, business and city.

For the latest in the Louisville Mayor’s Race, visit WHAS11 Political Editor Joe Arnold’s Political Blog.

For a full story on the Republican Polls, check back to later Monday night.