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Survey Shows Statistical Tie In Philly Mayor Race

Democratic candidates for Philadelphia Mayor on debate stage

In the first nonpartisan public poll of the 2023 Philadelphia mayor’s race, the nonprofit Committee of Seventy found a statistical tie in the race to be the city’s 100th mayor.

With a 3.8% credibility interval (similar to a margin of error), the survey of likely Democratic voters found that leading the pack were Rebecca Rhynhart (18%), Cherelle Parker (17%), Helen Gym (15%), Allan Domb (14%) and Jeff Brown (11%). With two and a half weeks to go, 20 percent of voters remain undecided.

In addition to the “horserace” poll results, Committee of Seventy also surveyed respondents on how they’d rank their choices for mayor if given that option — a popular method of voting used in approximately 60 cities including New York City, Minneapolis and Oakland. Ranked-choice voting — also known as “instant runoff voting” — eliminates candidates one-at-a-time until one candidate wins with more than 50% of votes. If a voter’s first choice is eliminated, their ballot counts for their next highest ranked candidate. In the Committee of Seventy’s poll, Rhynhart came in first and Parker came in second when voters were given the option of ranking.

“These results make clear what we knew all along: that every vote matters,” said Lauren Cristella, Committee of Seventy’s interim president and chief operating officer. “We want every eligible voter to vote, to be informed when they vote, and to vote with confidence. This poll is a snapshot in time that hopefully gives voters an additional piece of information to use when they walk into a voting booth or complete a mail-in ballot. There are a lot of great tools available to help voters make the right decisions for themselves and their families, and we undertook this poll to add one more tool to the toolbox.”

Notable findings include:

  • Rhynhart leads among white voters with 29 percent, while Gym is second at 24%. She also received 21% support from men – five points higher than she does among women.
  • Parker has a strong advantage among Latino voters at 31 percent and Black voters at 25%.
  • Gym is the favorite among those who say they are “very liberal” at 40 percent. She also has the lead among the nine percent of voters who report that they have already voted.
  • Domb has a slight edge on the field among conservatives and moderates.
  • Jeff Brown is slightly behind Gym in early voting.

 

Committee of Seventy commissioned the poll as a resource to voters in partnership with FairVote, Urban Affairs Coalition, The Philadelphia Citizen, and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. The poll interviewed 1,500 Philadelphia adults via phone and text from April 21-25, 2023, about their voter registration status and likelihood to vote, and weighted responses to U.S. Census targets for gender, age, race and home ownership. Candidate percentages were drawn from the 1,013 Democratic respondents who had already cast their ballots or were likely to do so.

“With multiple candidates within the confidence interval and a fifth of likely voters still undecided, the race is still wide open,” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “We’re excited to work with partners across the city to make sure that every eligible Philadelphian gets out and makes their voice heard in this election.”





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