Poll: Scandals have taken their toll on Mayor Gray

WASHINGTON – A new poll shows the impact of the scandals that have marred D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration since taking office in January.

The poll by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 47 percent of D.C. voters hold favorable view of Gray’s handling of the job, and 40 percent hold unfavorable views. 20 percent had no opinion or were undecided.

It gets worse for Gray. When voters were asked how they thought former Mayor Adrian Fenty held the job, 58 percent thought he did a good job, with 38 percent saying they had an unfavorable view of his time as mayor.

Gray, the former chair of the city council, easily beat Fenty in last year’s election. Since taking office, Gray’s administration has been accused of corruption and nepotism. Gray had a 60 percent approval rating when he became mayor.


“I thought he did better than I expected,” says WTOP Political Analyst Mark Plotkin. “Anecdotally, what you hear in terms on conversation is not good.”

Only 46 percent of voters say the city is going in the right direction, with 36 percent say the city is going in the wrong direction, and 52 percent of voters say corruption is a big problem in the city. 45 percent of voters say corruption is either not a problem or a small problem in the city.

“All these investigations, in terms alleged payoffs during the campaign, nepotism hiring, excessive salaries… People in both communities, but particularly in the white community are very disturbed by this. ”

The poll shows that 57 percent of white voters do not approve Gray, while only 27 percent do approve. 51 percent of black voters do approve of Gray, while only 27 percent disapprove.

“The guy who’s in worse shape is Kwame Brown, the City Council Chairman,” says Plotkin.

Only 30 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Brown, with 36 percent having a favorable opinion and 33 percent are undecided or have no opinion.

The poll was conducted by phone between May 10 and 31, 2011, among a random sample of 1,342 adults living in D.C. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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