Poll: Duggan keeps lead on Young in Detroit mayor race

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — Incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan holds a wide lead over his most formidable challenger, state Sen. Coleman A. Young Jr., even though Detroiters are split over whether they have benefited from the city’s resurgence in the last four years, according to a new poll of likely primary voters.

Duggan led Young 64 percent to 30 percent among 412 Detroit residents likely to vote in the Aug. 8 primary election conducted by Target Insyght and paid for in part by the MIRS political subscription news service. Another 1 percent said they would vote for lesser-known candidates Edward Dean and Donna Marie Pitts and 4 percent were undecided.

The poll was conducted last Tuesday and Thursday, with 23 percent involving live operator calls to cell phones and 77 percent automated calls to land-line phones. It has a margin of error of plus-minus 5 percentage points.

The polling results come after committee campaign finance filings on Friday revealed Duggan has raised $1.6 million from October to July 23 while Young has pulled in just over $22,000 since February.

“If Coleman doesn’t raise money, he’s not going to make any gains,” said pollster Ed Sarpolus with Target Insyght, who added it’s tough to run a competitive campaign based on what Young has collected.

Duggan’s lead in the latest poll is up from a prior survey conducted by Target Insyght in May that gave him a 55 percent lead over Young’s 23 percent.

Sarpolus said Monday that the survey shows Duggan is getting the majority of the African-American vote and the city’s senior citizens. About 41 percent of respondents were 61 or older, according to the poll.

“The seniors have not left Mike Duggan. The people of color have not left Mike Duggan,” he said. “Besides the money, he (Young) has to get more of the city leaders, the every day leaders, supporting him visibly.”

The poll also sought resident reaction on how conditions have changed in the last four years for them personally as well as in their segment of the city.

Most or 42 percent said the area where they live has “benefited somewhat” from Detroit’s resurgence in the last four years. Another 32 percent said they’ve seen no benefit, and 14 percent said they have benefited a lot. Meanwhile, 10 percent were undecided and 2 percent said conditions are worse.

“Whether it’s a large benefit or small benefit, they are seeing more,” he said. “Mike Duggan is the beneficiary of that movement over the last four years.”