Mar 14, 2022 - Politics

New poll suggests most Democrats worried Philly is on the wrong track

Data: Frederick Polls; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

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.

Of note: AGP, which launched earlier this month, said its partners McLaughlin & Associates and Frederick Polls conducted the poll, which had a margin of error of ±3.4%.

Data: Frederick Polls; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

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.

What's next: The group is expected to release more polling data around education, jobs and tax policy in the coming months.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Philadelphia.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Philadelphia stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more