A survey just released from Baldwin Wallace University shows Justin Bibb ahead of Kevin Kelley in the Cleveland mayoral race by about 9 points. However, as many as 40% of those surveyed remained uncertain who they would vote for on November 2.
Bibb took the lead among respondents of all ages and races, according to a BW press release, with about 34 percent compared to Kelley’s 25 percent.
“It’s likely that the 40 percent who are undecided includes a mix of primary voters who chose a candidate other than Bibb or Kelley,” said Tom Sutton, director of BW’s Community Research Institute. “Each candidate has received endorsements from East Side primary opponents.”
Bibb has a strong lead among Black voters — 26 percentage points, according to the poll. He’s also ahead with other minority groups in Cleveland. But his lead drops to 3 points among white voters in a poll whose margin of error was 5.1%.
Top issues for voters that were named in the poll included neighborhood safety, at about 46 percent, and quality of the local schools, at about 40 percent. Following that were police response times and how police treat residents.
“Public safety and education are top of mind for Cleveland voters,” Sutton said in the release. “Timely response and how residents are treated by police are persistent concerns.”
The digital divide came in last for respondents of the survey at about 3 percent, despite the city’s proposed $20 million investment in citywide broadband. Sutton and his team also asked residents which changes in Cleveland have had the biggest impact on their lives. Voters cited improvements at public parks like Edgewater and Euclid Beach and development in Ohio City and University Circle. Renovation of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and the Republican National Convention in 2016 were at the bottom of the list.
“Parks, improved housing and gathering spaces are more important to voters than the splash of costly high-profile events and upgraded entertainment venues,” Sutton said.
Access the complete poll at Cleveland.com here: https://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/2021/10/baldwin-wallace-poll-of-mayoral-race-shows-justin-bibb-leading-kevin-kelley-plurality-still-undecided.html
Find out more about upcoming mayoral forums here: https://www.thelandcle.org/stories/final-remarks-your-go-to-for-mayoral-forums-ahead-of-general-election. For information about the Nov. 2 general election, visit boe.cuyahogacounty.gov.
Lee Chilcote is editor of The Land.