CivicScience Poll Says #PGHMayor Race Within Single Digits

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Via Maria at 2 Political Junkies, the results are here. I am not sure why they are not releasing the head-to-head numbers, but they have all kinds of interesting demographic information on Ravenstahl and Peduto voters:

The purpose of this analysis was NOT to forecast the election outcome. It’s too early, given that new people are still entering the race. All we will say right now is that a hypothetical two-way race between Ravenstahl and Peduto would be close, within single-digit percentage points if the election was held today. There’s also still a large Undecided group, about 19% of voters.

Our goal in this research was to identify the characteristics that distinguished a likely Ravenstahl voter from a likely Peduto one. We looked at demographics first and then hundreds of other lifestyle, shopping, media consumption, and other attributes to uncover the most predictive ones. This first wave included 1,651 registered Democratic voters who live in the City of Pittsburgh.

I would be very cautious about assuming that 19% undecided number means 19% are really open to supporting a challenger, but it does suggest that Ravenstahl is weaker than you’d expect given the fundamentals.

Check out the demographics. Peduto is winning young people, professionals, and more highly educated voters. Black voters are more likely to support Ravenstahl, but they are also more likely to be undecided, suggesting there is an opening there. How awesome is it going to be to have a Mayoral race where 3 white guys need to actively court black voters?

Support splits down the middle by gender, with little difference between men and women. We surfaced the first correlations when we analyzed age. Ravenstahl has a clear advantage among voters over age 65 and, oddly, sees strong support among those aged 30 to 34. Peduto, meanwhile, leads handily among respondents under age 30 and has a slight advantage among those aged 35 to 44.

Black voters are 20% more likely to vote for Ravenstahl but are also significantly more likely than non-Blacks to be undecided. Peduto leads among Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish voters but Ravenstahl makes up for that with a huge advantage among people described as “Christian – Other.”

Education-level is a big dividing point in the race. People with college degrees are almost twice as likely to vote for Peduto. Those with advanced degrees are 71% more likely to vote for Peduto. Conversely, people with a High School or GED-level education are 2.3X more likely to support Ravenstahl. Those with some college but no degree are 72% more likely to support the current Mayor. Similarly, Peduto sees his highest support among upper income households. Ravenstahl does best with middle and lower-middle-income households.

From an occupational standpoint, Peduto leads by 40% among people in Professional/Managerial jobs and by 4.5X among people in Operations and Sales. People in the service industry are 2 1/2 times more likely to support Ravenstahl. Also, Retirees are 20% more likely and Home Makers a whopping 4X more likely to support Ravenstahl. The ever-important group of “Craftsmen and Laborers” is split dead even, as are people in computer or technical fields.

Peduto is also cleaning up with dog people, obviously.

This entry was posted in Elections.

8 Responses to CivicScience Poll Says #PGHMayor Race Within Single Digits

  1. Amos says:

    So it appears that Ravenstahl appeals to the same demographics as today’s Republican Party.

  2. Tim says:

    All the demographics that Peduto has leads in won’t have large percentage of Democratic Primary voters in the City of Pittsburgh. I’m not trying to tear down the City of Pittsburgh, but the pockets of well-educated voters in Allegheny County don’t live within the city limits and/or aren’t registered as Democrats. It is a blue-collar town, so the numbers still look extremely favorable to Ravenstahl.

  3. CivicScience says:

    Thank you so much for the write-up. We never expected such a reaction like this to our little blog post. We do worry that your headline is a bit misleading however. What it should say is: “A Hypothetical But Highly Unlikely Two-Way Mayor’s Race Would Be Within Single Digits If Every Registered Democrat Turned Out to Vote, Which Everyone Knows Won’t Happen.” Unfortunately, we realize that wouldn’t Tweet so well.

    There are a number of reasons we didn’t (and most likely won’t) share any forecast numbers. First, we ran all of our voter analysis one day before a new and viable candidate entered the race. To spend the time crunching our data to forecast an unlikely two-person race made little sense. We’ve already seen in our tracking numbers since the 17th how Michael Lamb’s candidacy is altering the numbers.

    Second, we only analyzed REGISTERED Democratic voters, not super voters or even likely voters, which is a monumental distinction. In an off-year local government primary, we all know that registration means very little. The election will come down to a small subset of those registered voters who turn out (on a probably-rainy day in Pittsburgh in May). Do we have a pretty good idea who they will be? Yes we do. But we’re not going to share that now and may not do so publicly at all…which leads to our last point.

    We wrestle a lot with releasing political “predictions” to the public, especially in a local race like this where there will be very little if any other public polling data. We’re not a predominantly political shop (the vast majority of our business is focused on consumer marketing and financial market research). The last thing we want to do is be seen as biasing or influencing the race in anyway. What we will probably do, like we did during the Presidential, is release our predictions about 5 minutes after the polls close on election day. In the meantime, we just want to share some fun numbers from time to time, numbers that should have a little bit of insight and hope for all of the participating candidates…not to mention fodder for our friends in the media to write about.

    Thanks again.

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