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FIRST ON 3 AND THE BIG TALKER FM: Poll shows Wilmington voters not sold on mayor, councilmen

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 AND THE BIG TALKER FM: Poll shows Wilmington voters not sold on mayor, councilmen
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RALEIGH, NC (CIVITAS INSTITUTE) -– A new Civitas Flash Poll shows Wilmington voters would consider replacing the current mayor and three councilmen when they go to the polls next year. And of those voters who express a preference, more are planning to vote against the incumbents than are planning to vote for them.

The poll asked registered voters in Wilmington if there was an election today who they’d vote for, or whether they weren’t sure until they knew who else was on the ballot. Of those indicating a preference, 19 percent were for Mayor Bill Saffo and 27 percent against. In the council races, the results were 11 percent for/18 percent against Kevin O’Grady; 11 percent for/22 percent against Earl Sheridan; 16 percent for/27 percent against Charlie Rivenbark.

The “depends on the ballot” responses were 54 percent for Saffo, 71 percent for Councilman O’Grady, 63 percent for Councilman Sheridan, and 56 percent for Councilman Rivenbark.

Moreover, a majority (56 percent) of voters thought the city council was irresponsible in spending taxpayers’ money; only 32 percent thought they spend the public’s dollars responsibly. That shows slippage from a February Civitas Flash Poll, in which 35 percent thought the council was fiscally responsible, and only 48 percent thought they were irresponsible.

In that February Civitas Flash Poll, 52 percent approved of the job Saffo was doing as mayor; 40 percent approved of the job City Council was doing. “The questions are different, but are similar enough to suggest voters’ attitudes are moving the wrong way, from the incumbents’ point of view,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca.

Looking at the newer poll, “Less than one in five voters is committed to any of these four officeholders,” De Luca added. “Though it’s a while until the next election, usually incumbents, especially longtime ones, build up foundations of support. The current mayor and councilmen appear to have alienated some voters at this point in time.”

For more information on Civitas polling, see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.

Full text of questions from August Flash Poll:

Wilmington will elect a mayor and city Council members in 2013. If there were an election for Wilmington Mayor today, which statement would describe you? One: I would vote FOR Bill Saffo no matter who else is on the ballot. Two: I would vote AGAINST Bill Saffo no matter who else is on the ballot. Three: I’m not sure how I would vote until I know who else is on the ballot.

19% FOR Saffo
27% AGAINST Saffo
54% Depends On Ballot

Now, some City Council seats. If there were an election for Wilmington City Council today, which statement would describe you in regards to Kevin O’Grady?

11% FOR O’Grady
18% AGAINST O’Grady
71% Depends On Ballot

Next, Earl Sheridan.

15% FOR Sheridan
22% AGAINST Sheridan
63% Depends On Ballot

Last, Charlie Rivenbark.

16% FOR Rivenbark
27% AGAINST Rivenbark
56% Depends On Ballot

Is the Wilmington City Council responsible? or irresponsible? when determining how to use taxpayer dollars?

32% Responsible
56% Irresponsible
12% Not Sure

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Bill Saffo is doing as Mayor?

52% Approve
45% Disapproved
3% Not sure

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the Wilmington City Council is doing?

40% Approve
51% Disapprove
9% Not Sure

Is the Wilmington City Council responsible? or irresponsible? when determining how to use taxpayer dollars?

35% Responsible
48% Irresponsible
17% Not Sure

About the Poll: 300 registered voters in the City of Wilmington were interviewed on Aug. 1 and 2. This poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Research methodology, questionnaire design and fieldwork for this survey were completed by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ. This statement conforms to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The margin of error was +/- 5.7 percent.

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