If the spring 2015 Democratic primary were held today – and if Philadelphia Public Record readers know their stuff – City Controller Alan Butkovitz would have an edge in a crowded field to win the nomination for Philadelphia’s next Mayor.
An online poll on the Public Record website conducted through polldaddy.com shows no potential mayoral candidate with a decisive advantage. But in a field of 13 choices, Butkovitz led as of Wednesday, Oct. 9 with 27.69%. That represents 152 out of 550 total responses since Jul. 4, 2013 when the poll was started.
Respondents are asked, “Who Do You Think Will Win Next Democratic Mayoral Primary In Philadelphia?”
Butkovitz may benefit from familiarity. He has been elected to citywide office twice before and his name is known to voters.
In second place is State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-W. Phila.). The Senator drew 74 votes, or 13.45% of the total. That’s impressive for a man whose day job does not take him to all parts of the city.
Not far behind is City Council President Darrell Clarke with 65 votes, or 11.83%. Although he represents only the 5th Councilmanic Dist. in North Philadelphia, his position as Council President gives him a high profile with lots of new coverage.
Neck and neck for fourth place are Councilman at Large Bill Green and 1st Ward Leader John Dougherty, with 50 votes (9.09%) and 49 votes (8.91%) respectively. Green has won a citywide election. Electricians’ Union Leader Dougherty, who unsuccessfully sought a State Senate seat, has vast citywide political influence. Both are known for their fundraising prowess.
In sixth place is Councilman at Large Jim Kenney, who has won six citywide elections and is a respected policymaker. He has 41 votes, for 7.45%.
Not far behind are Congressman Bob Brady, the adroit Democratic Party Leader who came in third in a five-way race for Mayor in 2007, and District Attorney Seth Williams, who is seeking his second term this November. Each has 31 votes, for 5.64%.
Some respondents also chose 3rd Dist. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (13 votes, 2.36%); Councilman at Large Wilson Goode, Jr. (9 votes, 1.64%); businessman Tom Knox, who came in second in the 2007 mayoral race (13 votes, 2.36%); 7th Dist. Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez (10 votes, 1.82%); and Councilwoman at Large Blondell Reynolds Brown (12 votes, 2.18%).
This poll is an “open-access poll” in which respondents are self-selected. Such a poll is not as reliable as a scientifically selected poll. In addition, for an election still 19 months away, any poll has a low predictive value. A lot can happen between now and May 19, 2015. Many candidates who now poll lower can break out if they organize well or if others falter.
However, online readers of the Philadelphia Public Record are self-selected for local political interest and savvy. More than 30,000 people a week read the newspaper online at www.phillyrecord.com.
Professionals are now exploring potential 2015 campaigns for many individuals. They’ll be keeping an eye on results like these for clues to strategy.