Jim Kenney Has Huge Lead in Mayor’s Race

First independent poll of the campaign shows Kenney with whopping 27-point lead over Lynne Abraham and Anthony Williams.

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Well, that was pretty much what we expected. Only more so.

The first independent poll this season found that former City Councilman Jim Kenney is leading the Philadelphia mayoral race, with 42 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him if the election were held today. Fifteen percent said they would support state Sen. Anthony Williams, while another 15 percent lined up behind former District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

The remaining candidates, Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver and Milton Street, all polled in the low single digits. Fourteen percent of respondents said they were undecided.

The survey was commissioned by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News, Philly.com and NBC10.

A few quick thoughts:

  1. It’s pretty astonishing that an independent poll shows that Kenney is even further ahead than he was in two recent polls conducted on his behalf. That suggests he has real momentum and obviously a massive lead less than a week out from Election Day. It’s hard to see how Williams or Abraham could catch up, even with amazing get-out-the-vote operations and brilliant anti-Kenney ads.
  2. It’s noteworthy that Williams and Abraham are neck and neck. In the last few weeks, many journalists and political insiders saw this as having narrowed to a race between Kenney and Williams. The prevailing wisdom was that Abraham was no longer a factor, but Williams was.
  3. The poll also found that 78 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. That makes him more popular than any of the mayoral candidates, as well as former Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter. This cannot be helping Williams, who said at the final televised mayoral debate that he would fire Ramsey because has implemented stop-and-frisk.