City Councilman Bob Merski commissioned and released an internal poll Wednesday showing him with a comfortable lead in the seven-person race.
The Merski campaign poll puts him at 37% among likely Democratic primary voters. Former City Councilman Joe Schember had 15%, former City Councilwoman Rubye Jenkins-Husband had 14%, County Councilman Jay Breneman had 10%, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania instructor Lisa Austin, former police chief Steven Franklin and Erie Playhouse executive director Almitra Clerkin each had 5%.
Internal polls should always be taken with a grain of salt. Campaigns typically commission a comprehensive poll and publicly release only the most favorable results. They are often used to win over donors, consolidate their support early in the primary, and gain media coverage.
PoliticsPA requested a full copy of the poll results. Merski’s campaign provided some additional numbers beyond the one-page memo, but declined to release the full results.
Merski has a high name recognition, with 85%, but he is not the best-known candidate. 87% of respondents had heard of Jenkins-Husband. Merski had a 55% favorable rating, and a 14% unfavorable rating. Jenkins-Husband had a 41% favorable rating, and 23% unfavorable. Schember had a 33% favorable rating and 12% unfavorable.
The poll also found that 62% of respondents think the city is headed in the wrong direction.
DC-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters from March 16th to March 21st via both landline and cell numbers. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9%.
John Persinger and Jon Whaley are running for the Republican nomination.