Melina Kennedy campaign finally admits their polls have them running behind incumbent Mayor Greg Ballard. Campaign sources won't say by how much; general belief is 8 - 10 points
Abdul is an enthusiastic supporter of the Mayor. It's not a stretch to assume the 8-10 point figure was discussed with the Ballard campaign. What I find surprising is that anyone who understands campaign politics would actually think an 8-10 point lead (which wouldn't even be outside a 5 point margin of error), would be something to brag about. Kennedy, on the other hand, can't publicly talk about any poll which shows her behind when expectations about her campaign are high, especially in a county with a Democratic baseline of more than 55%. In fact, if she's only 8-10 points out (again which I doubt) then her campaign is far ahead of schedule and she is well on her way to being the next Mayor. Ballard needs to be up by at least 20 points going into the Labor Day weekend to stave off the inevitable tightening of the race.
A few weeks ago, I ran into one of Ballard's biggest supporters. Outside of Frank Straub, the young man had nothing but good things to say about how Mayor Ballard has led the City. Then our discussion turned to the campaign. His mood changed completely. He said he was frustrated. He tried to help out the Ballard campaign only to find the Mayor's political people had no idea what they are doing. Yep, that is exactly right. Political and strategic incompetence to the max.
Note: Before people suggest I'm wrong on the margin of error comment, actually it is the media who gets the MOE wrong. When you have a 5 point MOE, that means both sets of numbers can be off 5 points. So if Candidate A polls at 55% and Candidate B is at 45%, that means Candidate A's numbers can be as high as 60% and as low as 50%. Candidate B's numbers can be as high as 50% and as low as 40%. Thus with a 5% MOE on a 55-45 poll, the race can be tied 50-50.