Wednesday, November 2, 2011
WISH-TV Poll Shows Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Up 44% to 33% Over Melina Kennedy; 21% are Undecided
The poll of 400 voters has a margin of error of 4.9%. The 11 point lead is just over a point outside the margin of error. This is often misreported by the media. The MOE refers to error on either side of the numbers, so the race is in favor of Ballard anywhere from 49-28 to 39-38 (rounding off 4.9% to 5%.)
Another interesting feature of the poll is that it showed early voters heavily favored Kennedy. The Democrats under Marion County Chairman excel at turnout. I would give the Democrats a 5 point edge just on the ability to turn out voters.
An election featuring an incumbent Mayor, is a referendum on that Mayor. When details of the poll were reviewed, it is clear that one area Melina Kennedy has failed thus far is linking the Mayor to his unpopular policies. I believe Kennedy made a mistake in failing to raise such things as the Pacers multi million dollar giveaway, the 50 year parking meter contract and the Mayor's overseas junkets. She needed to be specific about those things Ballard has supported that make voters angry when you raise them. Instead Kennedy has pulled punches, only willing to criticize Ballard in a general manner on that front. Undoubtedly the reason why is Kennedy is part of that insider establishment that has benefited from Indianapolis corporate welfare culture and she doesn't want to alienate that establishment should she win.
Time is extremely short. If Kennedy wants to be Mayor Kennedy, she needs to make clear to voters that Ballard has run the city as a card-carrying member of the establishment and she will be a different type of Mayor, someone who puts the people instead of the insiders first. There is not much time left to make that case.