New poll suggests most Democrats worried Philly is on the wrong track
A majority of Philly Democrats believe the city is on the wrong track, citing police and public safety as top issues, new polling by nonpartisan advocacy group A Greater Philadelphia suggests.
Why it matters: The poll offers a glimpse into where voters stand nearly a year before the 2023 Democratic primary for mayor and city council.
State of play: While no candidates have yet entered the mayoral race, a number of city leaders are weighing runs to replace Mayor Jim Kenney, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.
- The winner of Philly's Democratic primaries typically goes on to win the general election in the city, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 7-to-1.
By the numbers: Nearly 55% of the 800 registered Democrats polled between Feb. 14-17 said the city is moving in the wrong direction, compared to nearly 27% who said it's headed in the right direction.
- Police and public safety were the top issues respondents said the city ought to focus on, followed by safe and affordable housing.
- Meanwhile, about 69% said they were satisfied with garbage collection in their neighborhood.
Zoom in: Around 40% of respondents said they're "much more" worried about being the victim of a crime in the past six months, while 27% said they're "somewhat more" worried, according to the poll.
- About 5% of those polled responded they're "somewhat less" or "much less" worried each, while 27% said there hasn't been a difference.
Philadelphia City Council had the lowest approval rating among the top city leaders included in the poll — 44% approved, while nearly 38% disapproved.
- Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw: 46% approved; nearly 37% disapproved.
- District Attorney Larry Krasner: 51% approved; 30% disapproved.
- Mayor Kenney: 55% approved; nearly 32% disapproved.
What they're saying: Mark Gleason, founder of AGP, told Axios the poll's findings reinforced a feeling of "resident apathy" and a "tolerance of dysfunction" for city leaders who don't address the city's major issues, like gun violence.
- "In Philadelphia right now, there's no governing vision," he said. "We're not holding people accountable."
- AGP intentionally polled Democrats, Gleason added.
- “The reality in Philadelphia is: The elections that matter here are Democratic primaries,” he said.
Between the lines: One of AGP's top goals is seeking leadership changes in the city.
- AGP's directors include Farah Jimenez, formerly of the defunct School Reform Commission, and Jabari Jones, director of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative.
- Gleason formerly served as head of Philadelphia School Partnership, a school advocacy group.
What's next: The group is expected to release more polling data around education, jobs and tax policy in the coming months.
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