Mayoral poll: Likely voters are seen unsure; hopefuls press on

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jul. 17, 2013

As a poll out this week showed 40 percent of likely voters undecided in a fluid race for mayor, two of the contenders hoping to succeed Mayor Thomas Menino sought to differentiate themselves with new television ads while others touted their priorities and their neighborhood canvassing efforts.

A Suffolk University/Boston Herald survey of 600 likely voters showed City Councillor At-Large John Connolly and Dorchester state Rep. Martin Walsh receiving 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively, with Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley picking up 9 percent and City Councillor Rob Consalvo nabbing 8 percent. The poll, which included all 12 candidates and pegged Menino’s approval rating at 82 percent, had a 4 percent margin of error. Of the respondents, 64 percent identified themselves as white or Caucasian.

The other candidates, who all received less than 6 percent, are City Councillor Michael Ross, former Dorchester state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo, City Councillor Charles Yancey, Codman Square Health Center co-founder Bill Walczak, community activists John Barros and Charles Clemons, and Roxbury Republican David James Wyatt.

The poll results, released on Tuesday night, came as two candidates said they were launching television advertising efforts: Conley’s campaign released five ads on issues from education to gun violence and Arroyo, who is hoping to become first Latino mayor, released an introductory ad that featured his father, former City Councillor At-Large Felix D. Arroyo. The Spanish language ad, which was due to start airing today, will be on Telemundo and Univision for the next four weeks, his campaign said. “With your help we will make history,” Arroyo says in Spanish in the advertisement. “Vote on September 24 and together we will move this city forward.”

The Arroyo and Conley campaigns declined to say how much they’re paying for the ads.
Rep. Walsh’s camp touted its ground game, saying their volunteers had knocked on 22,000 doors this past weekend as high heat continued to bake the city, the third weekend out of four, they say, that they have hit five figures.

For his part, District 8 Councillor Ross, who chairs the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, held a hearing at Hibernian Hall on Wednesday on the uptick in gun violence. Testimony was expected from the Boston branch of the NAACP and the Ten Point Coalition, which works to stem youth violence.

And District 5 City Councillor Rob Consalvo made another unsuccessful stab at getting his fellow mayoral hopefuls to sign onto his version of “The People’s Pledge,” which would have candidates donating to the One Fund, the charity set up in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, if an outside group advertises against a candidate.

Golar Richie, a former senior official at an organization focused on at-risk youth, said she was planning a “youth summit” following the not-guilty verdict in the trial of the Florida man who shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager.

“As I spoke with young people, especially young men of color, after the Trayvon Martin verdict at Jeep Jones Park in Roxbury, and at the rally in Dudley Square, many said they felt the verdict signaled that their lives had less value than others,” Richie said in a statement. “Some young people said that too often society views them as the problem, not the solution. This meeting is about problem solving – and engaging our young people to help find solutions.”

The summit is set for July 27, with the location to be determined.