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Graham reports big lead in Ward 1; Fenty holds narrow advantage over Gray

Washington Post Editors

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) appears to be cruising to an easy reelection over his two rivals for the Democratic nomination, according to an internal poll conducted by his campaign from July 28 to July 1.

The survey of 300 Democrats in Ward 1 found Graham drawing 68 percent of the vote, while challengers Bryan Weaver and Jeff Smith split 15 percent of the vote. The poll, conducted by Celina Lake's firm Lake Research Partners, showed that 17 percent of Ward 1 votes remain undecided.

Although there is time for either Weaver or Smith to emerge as a stronger challenger to Graham, the poll shows that 77 percent of Ward 1 Democrats view Graham favorably and 71 percent rate his performance as "excellent and good."

Because the poll was conducted by the Graham campaign, the results should be viewed with a bit of skepticism. But the numbers track with Graham's success in the 2006 campaign in winning 86 percent of the vote against Chad Williams.

"More than anything, these poll numbers tell me that our accomplishments over the past 12 years are making a big difference," Graham said in a statement. "We all know there's more to be done, but we are on the right path and have the support of people from across the ward."

Perhaps the most interesting numbers in the poll are the results of the mayor's race between Adrian M. Fenty and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in Ward 1. The results are likely to make the Fenty campaign a bit uncomfortable.

According to the poll, the incumbent mayor leads Gray in Ward 1 by a margin of 43 percent to 37 percent. Despite that narrow lead, many observers believe Fenty needs a much greater margin in Ward 1 on Election Day to overcome Gray's expected advantage in communities in Northeast and Southeast Washington.

Ward 1, the city's most diverse, is home to many of the new District residents that the Fenty campaign has been heavily courting. On July 4, a few hours before the fireworks, Fenty was spotted campaigning door-to-door in Mount Pleasant. In his successful 2006 campaign, Fenty won 61 percent of the vote in Ward 1, his best showing outside of his home base of Ward 4.

Still, Graham's poll demonstrates that Gray still faces a challenge in becoming better known. Only three out of four Ward 1 residents recognize Gray's name, compared with the nearly 100 percent who knew Fenty's. And with 18 percent of Ward 1 residents undecided, there is still a path for Fenty to match his 2006 numbers in Ward 1.

By Tim Craig  |  July 6, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , D.C. Council , Jim Graham , Mayor Fenty , Vincent C. Gray  
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Comments

You go, Jim! Your great "leadership" should make every Washingtonian proud! Your tenure as Chairman of the Metro board ended with Metro in fantastic shape and DC is doing even better under your prudent stewardship. To paraphrase a spot-on quote, "You're doing a heckuva job, Grammy!"

DC "leadership" at its finest! Disgrace.

Posted by: Nixonin08 | July 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, DC. Keep on reelecting corrupt politicians no matter what they do. If there are no reprecussions to any actions; then why bother following any rules?

Posted by: Aerowaz | July 6, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

CelinDa.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Fenty getting reelected will be as stupid as the Marion Barry fiasco. Then again, you must consider the constituency we are talking about. The results speak for themselves. What a sad, backwards city these lowlifes live in.

Posted by: Charley_XF | July 6, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Fenty getting reelected will be as stupid as the Marion Barry fiasco. Then again, you must consider the constituency we are talking about. The results speak for themselves. What a sad, backwards city these lowlifes live in.

Posted by: Charley_XF | July 6, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Fenty getting reelected will be as stupid as the Marion Barry fiasco. Then again, you must consider the constituency we are talking about. The results speak for themselves. What a sad, backwards city these lowlifes live in.

Posted by: Charley_XF | July 6, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

An incumbent with a narrow lead in the community from which he was raised. NOT a good sign.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 6, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

If this poll is credible regarding the mayor's race, this is great news for Chairman Gray, since he will come out of wards 5,7,8 with an average of 75% of all votes cast he will only need to maintain the 37% in wards 1,2,3., which he will maintain even with the WP endorsing King Fenty. Chairman Gray will get 55 to
58% in ward 4.

Fenty officials should start job hunting now.

Posted by: bill121 | July 6, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this press release do not mention that all 300 of the survey respondents were taxi-cab drivers. ; )~

Posted by: ashafer_usa | July 6, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Just can't figure out why Jim Graham is still tagging behind Fenty.

He does not need Fenty. I like Jim Graham.. He has done so much for his ward.

Happy he didn't have an opponent. Maybe he will ease away from Fenty now.

Posted by: gordonbundy | July 6, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I generally agree with bill121 though ultimately I think Gray will do better than 37% on election day in ward 1. Like ward 6, I predict Fenty will carry ward 1 with a margin betw 4-6%. I firmly agree that Gray will pull 54-58% in ward 4 and 70 plus percent in ward 5, 7 and 8. As such, Gray only needs about 30% of the votes in ward 2 and 3, which I think will be achievable when the Fenty contracting scandal is fully absorbed. Rhee's recent insertion into the Mayor's race has not help matters either.

Posted by: roscoedc | July 6, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

This is amazing news for Chairman Gray. The headline has a Fenty bent but he is expected to win in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3...not so much Ward 4 since the race began. So the news Fenty has a narrow lead is not good news for someone who expected to dominate in these wards.

Posted by: Fatmanny | July 6, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

By the way Washington Post you misinterpret how to read the numbers. Fenty is at 100% known with 18 percent undecided. The undecided know Fenty and still decided not go with him.

Gray can introduce himself to this group and have persuasion with his introduction.

I truly understand why Donna Brazile ask reporter to shut the ....up with campaign analysis.

Posted by: Fatmanny | July 6, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I was on the floor laughing at whomever Washington Post reporter made this assessment

Still, Graham's poll demonstrates that Gray still faces a challenge in becoming better known. Only three out of four Ward 1 residents recognize Gray's name, compared with the nearly 100 percent who knew Fenty's. And with 18 percent of Ward 1 residents undecided, there is still a path for Fenty to match his 2006 numbers in Ward 1.


Note to Washington Post hire a campaign consultant to give you an analysis.

Here is how math works...Fenty is at 100 percent meaning he is complete in his potential as a known figure. He has no potential persuadables to tap. Gray can be introduced to voters and it is unlikely the campaign won't introduce themselves.

I can explain this with campaign math. I can even point out that there are 8 wards and Fenty should be beating the pants off Gray in the Ward he was born in so to be eeking it out less than 90 days before the election is a strong indicator momentum is going in the opposite way.

What do you expect Fenty to do in 60 days that he couldn't do in 38 years or almost 4 years.

Posted by: 411Tibby | July 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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