Democrats have yet to consolidate behind Bottoms, AJC/WSB poll suggests

Atlanta will elect a woman as mayor in 2017. Keisha Lance Bottoms (left) and Mary Norwood will face off in a Dec. 5 runoff. AJC file

Georgia Democrats have been trying to paint Mary Norwood as a closet Republican for years. The poll released Friday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV suggests it isn’t yet sticking in this year’s race for Atlanta mayor.

The Landmark Communications poll, which pegged Norwood to a 6-point lead over Keisha Lance Bottoms, suggested the attacks have failed to stick.

It showed 42 percent of Democratic voters are backing Norwood, who is vying to be Atlanta’s first white mayor since 1973. About 21 percent of black voters are supporting her. The margin of error was about 4 percent.

“Bottoms still has a lot of work to do with Democrats,” said pollster Mark Rountree. “They’re using messaging that’s eight years old, and it’s not new news that they’re claiming she’s a Republican.”

More: See the crosstabs here.

The Democratic Party of Georgia has sought to tie Norwood to the GOP since her 2009 runoff against Kasim Reed. The state party unleashed a new round of attacks this week, including a TV ad that links her to the president.

Bottoms has echoed that message as she leans on high-profile Democratic figures for support. She has the backing of disparate factions of the Democratic Party, including Reed and Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 gubernatorial nominee. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential 2020 nominee, is campaigning for her this weekend.

Norwood has long bristled at the attacks that she’s a closet Republican. She’s said she voted for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and calls herself a “progressive independent” who wants to maintain her political neutrality so she can better work across party lines.

And she’s played up her support from several prominent Democrats. They include former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and ex-City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who both criticized the party this week for backing Bottoms.

The poll, the first to be conducted since Franklin and third-place finisher Cathy Woolard backed Norwood, could hint at the impact of their endorsements.

Norwood’s campaign hope both give wavering African American voters wary of voting against a Democrat, as well as liberal white voters in Atlanta’s eastside, leeway to back the councilwoman’s bid.

Rountree said the race is still very much in flux, and noted a late surge in advertising and campaign events could sway the outcome. The candidates are set for a final debate on WSB-TV on Sunday at 5 p.m.

“Get out the vote efforts can make a difference, news events over the weekend can make a difference, and advertising campaigns can make a difference,” he said. “It’s a generally close race – so nothing is set in stone.”

Read more: Norwood pulls ahead of Bottoms in AJC/WSB poll

You’ll find more on PoliticallyGeorgia.com, including these stories:

Bottoms begins to distance herself from Reed in Atlanta mayoral race

Georgia Democrats divided over party’s role in hunt for mayor

AJC political watch: Truth testing Atlanta’s candidates for mayor

Of ‘thugs’ and ‘coded language’ Atlanta mayoral candidates clash in GPB debate

Metro Atlanta’s LGBT voters flex muscle, see power grow in new ways

With Atlanta mayor vote, a fabled bipartisan alliance comes to an end

A closer look at the big-name endorsements in the Atlanta mayor’s race

Atlanta mayoral hopefuls call for transparency. How do they measure up?

Reader Comments 5

40 comments
A guy walks into a bar
A guy walks into a bar

This might be a watershed moment for Atlanta, the city too busy to hate. Norwood is the better candidate, hands down. Now let's see if racism will be a non-factor in this race. Mayor Reed and his cronies are the sort this city needs to get rid of. Too much Bill Campbell, Michael Lomax left in Atlanta politics. Time to move forward and stop this "our turn" nonsense. We're in this together, vote for the best candidate. Mary Norwood.

SJGM
SJGM

Black female here, and I am routing for Mary Norwood. Anyone that arrogant Kasim supports and endorses is not what Atlanta needs. Not more of him and his ilk. It's time for a change of view and vision; approach and attitude. Win, Mary. But I live OTP, so I can't vote for her. But the rest of you...do it, please. 

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

I am a Democrat and I am voting for Mary Norwood for Mayor, just like Shirley Franklin is voting for Mary Norwood for Mayor. We need a clean break from Kasim Reed's corrupt regime, and Mary Norwood can do it. In 4 years, if Norwood has not done a good job, we can elect someone else. But right now, we need to give City Hall an enema.

HELLNOMARTA
HELLNOMARTA

I am a white, Christian, pretty conservative, formerly voting republican of 26 years. I have no dog in this fight but I have two questions for BOTH candidates, WHAT ABOUT PEACHTREE AND PINES?? Why can't we feed the homeless anymore? Unless you care for them, go to heck.


That being stated, Norwood was caught making racist statements. NO WAY. 

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Next out of Bottoms campaign will be that Norwood is a Russian 

curt49
curt49

Bottoms is part of the same bunch that built the streetcar to nowhere, let crime get out of control and has let the building department remain a culture of incompetence. Why in the world should she be mayor.?

Atlanta will never be a world class city until it takes more than race to get elected.

NeboSuki1
NeboSuki1

Bottoms bought a million dollar home on Martha's Vineyard.  Yet she failed to pay her liens or water bill 75 times here in Atlanta.  Her callous disregard and disrespect as an Atlanta taxpayer speaks VOLUMES!!!!

WHY WOULD ANYONE VOTE FOR HER???

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HELLNOMARTA
HELLNOMARTA

@NeboSuki1 Norwood was caught on tape making racist comments. Normally, I agree with you Nebo but this time I have to disagree. Norwood is not for Atlanta.

Tcope
Tcope

The Cascade Rd mafia is not to be underestimated.

Champagnevelvet
Champagnevelvet

@Tcope what are your statements based on??? Sounds as racist as the statements made by Norwood earlier this year when speaking to young republicans. So, if you have time, please explain the motivation for your comments...I live in the Cascade Rd area...and grew up here as well...have not seen, heard of, nor met the Cascade Rd mafia of which you speak...so do explain.

Corey
Corey

Looming atop all of this is the topic of affordable housing -- a key issue in the mayoral runoff between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. In July, Atlanta Business Chronicle asked the candidates to provide their solutions to the problem. Here were each's bullet points on the issue:


I voted for Ms. Norwood on the first day of early voting. See the proposals of the two candidates in a recent article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Ms. Bottoms's proposal to appoint an affordable housing czar to report directly to her made up my mind to say no to her. 

NeboSuki1
NeboSuki1

@Corey Bottoms also wants to create an Education Czar position.  If left to her, Atlanta would have more CZARS than MOTHER RUSSIA.  And WHO does THAT remind you of???

curt49
curt49

@Infraredguy @NeboSuki1 @Corey Obama isn't running but since you went there, what we have now is a crook that put the sludge from the bottom of that swamp into cabinet positions and judgeships. 

NeboSuki1
NeboSuki1

As a life long independent who votes Democrat 98% of the time, I'm APPALLED at the scurrilous ads I see from the Ga. Democratic party designed to defame Mary Norwood.

SHAME ON YOU!!!

DuBose Porter...YOU ARE A FUC_KING MORON!!!!   

curt49
curt49

@NeboSuki1 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SHOULD BE ASHAMED.  It's almost enough to make me vote for the other party. 

Champagnevelvet
Champagnevelvet

@NeboSuki1 Norwood "defamed" herself with her request to the young republicans that she spoke to by asking them not to record her comments during that session.  Her claims for transparency are like Donald Trump belief that the rules apply to everyone but himself...her sweet, white southern belle display during Sunday's debate was horrifying. #NoToNorwood

AtlantanITP
AtlantanITP

Partisan politics have no place in city elections - particularly dark blue Atlanta. Norwood voted for Obama and Hillary, she works well with all people and has always put the best interest of the city and it’s citizens first. Was she supposed to cover her car in progressive bumper stickers too?

Angela.....
Angela.....

m̾a̾k̾i̾n̾g̾ m̾o̾n̾e̾y̾ o̾n̾l̾i̾n̾e̾ m̾o̾r̾e̾ t̾h̾a̾n̾ $15k̾ j̾u̾s̾t̾ b̾y̾ d̾o̾i̾n̾g̾ s̾i̾m̾p̾l̾e̾ w̾o̾r̾k̾ f̾r̾o̾m̾ h̾o̾m̾e̾. i̾ h̾a̾v̾e̾ r̾e̾c̾e̾i̾v̾e̾d̾ $18376 l̾a̾s̾t̾ m̾o̾n̾t̾h̾. i̾t̾s̾ a̾n̾ e̾a̾s̾y̾ a̾n̾d̾ s̾i̾m̾p̾l̾e̾ j̾o̾b̾ t̾o̾ d̾o̾ a̾n̾d̾ i̾t̾s̾ e̾a̾r̾n̾i̾n̾g̾s̾ a̾r̾e̾ m̾u̾c̾h̾ b̾e̾t̾t̾e̾r̾ t̾h̾a̾n̾ r̾e̾g̾u̾l̾a̾r̾ o̾f̾f̾i̾c̾e̾ j̾o̾b̾ a̾n̾d̾ e̾v̾e̾n̾ a̾ l̾i̾t̾t̾l̾e̾ c̾h̾i̾l̾d̾ c̾a̾n̾ d̾o̾ t̾h̾i̾s̾ a̾n̾d̾ e̾a̾r̾n̾s̾ m̾o̾n̾e̾y̾. e̾v̾e̾r̾y̾b̾o̾d̾y̾ m̾u̾s̾t̾ t̾r̾y̾ t̾h̾i̾s̾ j̾o̾b̾ b̾y̾ j̾u̾s̾t̾ u̾s̾e̾ t̾h̾e̾ i̾n̾f̾o̾ o̾n̾ t̾h̾i̾s̾ p̾a̾g̾e̾...

        ░A░M░A░Z░I░N░G░ ░J░O░B░S░

°°°°°°http://ow.ly/pqaC30fgvnI 


TomGaff
TomGaff

I will believe it when I see it happen! A white mayor in ATL? Remember the polls in the POTUS election!

mgunter
mgunter

DAT white girl don’t have no chance, dis here is a black town run by black folks......no room for no white girl .... shet

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

Sometime in the near future you might run into Kasim Reed hanging around the front door of Dunkin' Donuts on Cascade Road, trying to cadge enough loose change from folks so he can get a cup of coffee.

Presence1
Presence1

Most likely he will be your landlord.

Corey
Corey

@TrueBlueDem  He had a career as an entertainment lawyer prior to entering politics. He has strong ties to Atlanta's business establishment. He will do fine.

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  1. […] Democrats have yet to consolidate behind Bottoms, AJC/WSB poll suggests […]

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  2. […] As the weekend broke, WSB-TV brought out a poll that showed Norwood leading and Democrats split between the two candidates. A radio ad launched by the Norwood campaign this weekend, featuring former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, appears to be intended to keep that schism alive. We’re told it’s getting extensive air time on black radio. Listen here: […]

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  3. […] Democrats have yet to consolidate behind Bottoms, AJC/WSB poll suggests […]

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