Poll shows mayor’s race is, again, a dead heat

Friday, September 7, 2007 at 1:54am

Mayoral hopefuls Bob Clement and Karl Dean are statistically tied in the competition to replace Mayor Bill Purcell on Sept. 11, according to a City Paper poll released today.

The sample of 563 likely and actual Davidson County voters, conducted by SurveyUSA from Sept. 3-5, indicates former Public Defender and Metro Law Director Dean is leading the race with 48 percent support, followed closely by former U.S. Rep. Clement with 46 percent.

The poll, however, carried a margin for error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. Six percent of poll participants were undecided.

“We’ve always known this would be a close race,” said Clement spokesman Ben Hall when asked for the campaign’s response. “Bob Clement has the momentum, and undecided voters are coming his way because of Clement’s pledge not to raise taxes and to manage Metro government efficiently.”

Dean spokeswoman Janel Lacey expressed confidence in the poll.

“Our position is that The City Paper had the most accurate poll in the General Election — you guys had the only poll that showed the true support of Howard Gentry — so this is encouraging,” Lacey said.

“But we’re always running like we’re a vote behind, so we’re going to continue getting people to the polls, getting our supporters out and talking about education and public safety.”

The poll indicates that 53 percent of black voters support Clement, that 52 percent of white voters support Dean and that 62 percent of Hispanic voters support Clement. The poll says 47 percent of males and 45 percent of females support Clement, compared to 48 percent support for Dean by both males and females.

When respondents were asked whether “property taxes should never be increased no matter what” or whether “there are circumstances which could justify an increase in property taxes,” 40 percent of the respondents — in a pool of 525 adults — said there should never be an increase, 58 percent said an increase can sometimes be justified, and 3 percent were undecided.

Of those who would vote for Clement, 61 percent said they would never support a property tax increase, and of those who would vote for Dean, 59 percent said a tax increase could sometimes be justified.

Hall, when told these numbers, emphasized that Clement’s no-new-property-taxes promise encompasses just one four-year term.

Local political analyst Pat Nolan said the City Paper poll closely matches the mayoral campaigns’ internal polling.

“All the campaigns have been very careful for weeks to not be claiming victory and to say that this was a race that as best they could tell was indeed a dead heat, too close to call and within the margin for error. Now, obviously, each side would have said they had the slight advantage — which I think is possible even within what you’ve got …” Nolan said, adding, however, that the campaigns have indicated an undecided vote larger than 6 percent.

“…Even though we had 52 percent of voters who voted Aug. 2 who didn’t vote for either one of these guys, so far they seem to have pretty well divided themselves up to still keep it close. There’s not been a strong swing by the supporters of any of the three candidates that didn’t make the runoff towards one of the [run-off] candidates … at least not yet. And it’s getting kind of late for that to happen.”

Filed under: City News
By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Unless the candidate himself personally asks the voter who has not voted, yet remains undecided, to vote for him, then this campaign is over except for the announcement.

By: Fundit on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Mr. Plant is right. If you haven't do so... Vote! You can't complain about anything unless you cast a ballot.

By: xataran on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Fundit: Amen!

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

please no more about property taxes, we should know by now that they are always raised in the mayor's 2nd term.

By: Fundit on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I wonder if Mr. Deception would spout the same rhetoric if the numbers had been switched?

By: Dean_DECEPTION on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Can any of U Tax-Krazy-Karl supporters do math?2% of 563 = 11.26I know for a fact that this bogus City Paper "Poll" called voters in areas that they knew favor Krazy-Karl.The only Poll that counts comes on 9/11/07 and Clement will win the election.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I voted for Dean because I see Clement as a political re-tread. "Vote for me, my daddy was governor!"

By: chucwhit2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Do you really believe that Bob Clement isn't going to raise taxes? Every mayor has. My decision came down to who would be the best leader for Nashville. I could vote for a good ole boy or someone more like Bredesen. My decision was easy. I voted for Dean.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Am I being overly cynical if I believe that regardless of which candidate wins the election, we Nashvillians are the losers? Somehow, I just do not feel good about either of these two. If they were military officers, I would consider going AWOL instead of following either of them. Is it too late to write in a candidate?

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Question1: NopeQuestion 2: probably so

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Plant, glad to see you are still sympatico with our President, who went AWOL during the Vietnam war. From a National Guard safe haven no less. But you and I agree that we might have wished another candidate (in my case Gentry or Briley) to be in the runoff. Dean_DECEPTION, I am still laughing at your characterization of Clement's appointment to an executive position at TVA as 'running a private business'and his brief time at Cumberland as having 'been President of a University'. The DECEPTION part of your handle is quite truthful.I imagine Clement will look at this poll and rush out to make another collection of promises to those groups where his support is lagging.It is unfortunate that the article about the new Dean commercial doesn't allow comment (yet?). The Clement Landport is an appropriate monument to a do-nothing Congressman who didn't do his homework, like noticing that the adjoining bridge was about to fall down. It is laughable that Clement is complaining about Dean going negative when he started yapping against Dean as soon as he knew he had made the runoff.Dean may not be the salvation of Nashville, but in this election he is clearly the best choice.

By: Dean_DECEPTION on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Yes, plant, I am certain Bob Clement will not raise the property tax.Bob has served in the Military, ran private businesses, been President of a University and a US Congressman.Bob Clement will be a great mayor.

By: Dean_DECEPTION on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I don't smoke.If you want drugs you should call Krazy-Karl, I am sure he can set you up with a drug dealer from among his list of criminal clients or his criminal lawyer friends.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

DECEPTION. give us some of what you're smoking.

By: Dean_DECEPTION on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Tax-Krazy-Karl has never run a business. The biggest management job Krazy-Karl has had was managing 50 lawyers in metro law dept., and he only got that job because of his wife's money.Krazy-Karl couldn't even manage the Metro Law Director job with 50 lawyers and he wasted our tax money hiring private law firms to do his job for him.The one thing that Krazy-Karl is good at is wasting other people's money.Krazy-Karl was the least qualified of all the contenders for mayor. Gentry and Dozier were both more qualified by far but they didn't have rich wives to support them.You should read Clement's bio before you make a fool of yourself again. He has been very successful in public and private life.The Landport is great for Nashville but Purcell failed to utilize it. When Clement is elected, the Landport will be effectively utilized and become a great benefit to Nashville.