As polls go, a recent not-so-scientific survey in the Detroit News probably does very little to give any insight into how Detroiters will actually vote come the mayor’s race of 2013 — but it does suggest a certain tentativeness toward some presumptive early favorites, most notably media darling Mike Duggan.
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According to the informal poll of 800 Detroit residents, Wayne County Sheriff and former Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon (pictured here) tops Duggan and current mayor Dave Bing by a significant margin, with City Council President Charles Pugh a nearby second to Napoleon.
While it’s not clear why the story makes so much of the fact that more respondents were undecided than in favor of any one candidate — how surprising is that, really, this early in a local race filled with B-list candidates vying for the attention of a disaffected electorate? — the poll shows that the media’s presumptive front runners, Bing (who hasn’t declared) and Duggan, have an uphill push.
Despite the rah-rah quality of the early local media coverage of Duggan’s bid to become Detroit’s first white mayor since 1972, the poll showed him garnering support from only about 13.4 percent of respondents. Bing, meanwhile, got only 9.5 percent.
It’s not clear how much these numbers will mirror the sentiments of those who’ll go to the polls a year from now. But for now anyway, they do cast an interesting light over some of the talk about Duggan. (Again, whatever the media’s storyline, the results don’t show “nobody” out front, but rather Napoleon — with countless more decisions left to be made.)
Still, if these 800 are any kind of barometer for political sentiment in the city, it might not hurt to give a little closer listen a wider range of Detroiters (especially those registered and likely to vote) before power brokers and media observer get too caught up in their coronation story lines.
This story originally published by Darrell Dawsey on Deadline Detroit