Poll Shows Barrett Way Ahead
Zielinski, Taylor do poorly and more voters favor streetcar.
The poll was done by Remington Research Group, which has done polling for such Republican politicians as Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz and is considered to have a slight right-center bias. And its poll on Barrett words its questions in a way intended to gain more support for Lena Taylor.
For instance, while a typical straight-arrow poll would ask if you support or don’t support an official, this poll puts the question in a way emphasizing how long Barrett has been in office: “Current Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is expected to run for a fifth 4-year term in 2020. In general, would you support Mayor Barrett serving a fifth term in office?”
Even so, the poll found 56 percent would support a fifth term for Barrett, 29 percent would not and 15 percent weren’t sure.
Yet even after this description, when asked which of the three candidates the voters support for mayor, 41 percent chose Barrett, with both Taylor and Zielinski getting the same support, from 22 percent of respondents, with 15 percent undecided.
“If Tony Zielinski were not on the ballot, and the candidates for Mayor of Milwaukee were just Tom Barrett and Lena Taylor, for whom would you vote?,” the poll also asked. And 51 percent chose Barrett with 27 percent picking Taylor and 22 percent undecided.
Opponents of the streetcar have long argued that voters oppose it, but this poll found that wasn’t the case. It asked: “Milwaukee’s streetcar has been operating downtown for a year. In general, do you support or oppose expanding the streetcar?” And 47 percent of respondents favored expanding it, 42 percent opposed this and 11 percent weren’t sure.
The poll’s breakdown of who would support a fifth term for Barrett showed liberals, Democrats and women were far more likely to say yes, but also showed huge percentage of African Americans said yes (61 percent), with 23 percent saying no and 16 percent undecided. That’s not great news for Taylor, who would probably need to run up big totals in the black community to defeat Barrett.
The poll also asked respondents who they favored for Milwaukee Comptroller, a wide-open race with incumbent Martin Matson retiring. The results: 23 percent favored Aycha Sawa, 18 percent favored Jason Fields and 8 percent favoring Alex Brower, with 51 percent undecided.
The poll was done in September and overseen by attorney Daniel Adams, who told Urban Milwaukee last month that has worked with Remington Research several times and found the polls are very accurate in predicting voting results. Adams declined to the share the poll but Urban Milwaukee was able to secure a copy from another source.
As for who paid for it, Adams has worked with County Executive Chris Abele in the past, but said this poll wasn’t paid for by Abele. He wouldn’t disclose who did pay for it.
Two political observers contacted by Urban Milwaukee speculated that it may have been school choice supporters who paid for the poll, since Taylor favors vouchers, as does state Rep. Jason Fields, who is running for comptroller, as does Adams himself.
Correction: An earlier version of this story suggested that current Congresswoman and former state senator Gwen Moore rather than Lena Taylor (as the poll states) was the state’s first legislator to serve on the Joint Finance Committee. In fact the first to hold that distinction was the late Marcia Coggs. Taylor is the first to serve as co-chair of the committee.
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- City Hall: Barrett, Taylor Debate Remotely for Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 30th, 2020
- 9 Election Takeaways - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 19th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: Mayoral Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 14th, 2020
- City Hall: Presenting the “Real State of the City” - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 12th, 2020
- State of the Other City Address - Ald. Tony Zielinski - Feb 10th, 2020
- Barrett dodges debate? - Ald. Tony Zielinski - Feb 9th, 2020
- Slow To Question, Slow To Respond - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Jan 30th, 2020
- City Hall: Meet the Candidates for City Offices - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 15th, 2020
- City Hall: Conservative in Mayor Race Ejected - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 15th, 2020
- City Hall: Taylor Blames FPC Problems on Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2019
Read more about 2020 Mayoral Race here