Aug 8, 2023 - Election

Power Poll picks O'Connell to win Nashville mayor's race

Freddie O'Connell speaks at his election night party. Photo: courtesy of the O'Connell campaign

Metro Councilmember Freddie O'Connell is the favorite to be the next mayor of Nashville, according to a survey of influential government, nonprofit and business leaders.

State of play: The Nashville Power Poll, which asks about top issues facing the city, polled its members after O'Connell and Alice Rolli finished in the top two spots in last week's general election.

  • O'Connell was backed by 62% of Power Poll members compared to 28% for Rolli, a former Republican political strategist and businessperson.
  • Members were also asked who they think will win the Sept. 14 runoff. O'Connell was picked as the likely winner by 80% of those surveyed, compared to 10% for Rolli.
  • Nashville journalism veteran Bruce Dobie, who curates the poll, gave Axios Nashville a sneak peek of the most recent results.

Why it matters: The poll results show that O'Connell starts the runoff election with the support of Nashville's political influencers. Rolli is the clear underdog.

Flashback: The Power Poll wasn't particularly bullish on O'Connell's or Rolli's chances earlier in the election process. In February after Mayor John Cooper announced he wouldn't run for re-election, just 3.29% of those surveyed said O'Connell had the best chance to be the next mayor.

  • Just 1.2% thought Rolli had the best chance.
  • Matt Wiltshire was the candidate Power Poll members earmarked for victory.
  • In the final poll before last week's election, 51% of Power Poll members thought Wiltshire would finish first. He finished third.

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