Analysts: Undecided voters key in D.C. mayoral race

The D.C. mayoral race is neck-and-neck between the two leading candidates. Monday night's straw poll in Ward 5 might give us a better idea on who is gaining more steam, but some analysts say that it will still be too close to call.


D.C. flag

On Monday, Mayor Adrian Fenty and challenger Vincent Gray made appearances at local schools for the first day of classes. Close observers predict it is the beginning of what will be a greater push to get out the vote in the final stretch.

"Anecdotally, I'll tell you I see far more Fenty people on the streets because he has money and he's paying people to go out and so he can get his message out and have people knocking on doors and handing out flyers and whatnot. Vince Gray is showing up at every event, forum that he can get to," stated WTOP's Mark Seagraves.

The Clarus Research Group poll shows that Gray holds a slim lead over the incumbent 39 percent to 36 percent. Factor in the 4.4 percent margin of error and this race is virtually tied.

Seagraves told us, "It may show that Vince Gray has peaked too early, for this campaign. And the longer it takes to get to election day... I think the better that is for Adrian Fenty."

Endorsements and support for the leading candidates are pouring in from some notables, including council member Marion Barry.

Barry said, "We're going to fire Adrian Fenty and hire Vincent Gray."

The endorsement is a switch for Barry, who endorsed Fenty in 2006.

According to Barry, "He has mismanaged the budget, cronyism and cultural corruption, and I've been disappointed in that."

It's not just the name recognition coming into play. Polls also show that those east of the river and in Northwest D.C. already know who will be getting their vote.

"Adrian Fenty can't go over east of the river and win back those votes," said Seagraves.

Analysts now say that convincing the undecided voters may be the best strategy. Local analysts say that race will play a major factor in determining who will be the next D.C. mayor. Polls also show that those east of the river and in Northwest already know who will be getting their vote.

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