From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
Last week The Washington Post released a poll showing troubling signs for Vincent Gray’ political prospects. The poll revealed that 54 percent of residents — including 48 percent of African-American voters, a vital part of Gray’s political base — no longer trust the mayor and wish he would resign. Only 25% said he is running an ethical administration.
Gray pushed back against the poll, saying on Thursday that his achievements as mayor are being unfairly obscured by the dust-up surrounding his 2010 campaign. Since allegations of illegal conduct surfaced last week, Gray and his aides have pointed to lower unemployment and homicide rates as signs that Gray has been a vigilant and effective servant of his city, regardless of what may have happened during his campaign.
Despite these efforts to change the narrative, the poll shows voters aren’t buying the snake oil. Gray’s current approval rating is at 29%, the office’s lowest since Marion Barry’s slip to 28% in 1989.
By contrast, The Post reports that former Mayor Adrian Fenty’s approval rating stands at 59%. And, although Fenty said he won’t seek elected office again in DC, Gray hasn’t said he will either. Gray defeated Fenty in the 2010 Democratic mayoral primary by a margin of 54% to 44%. However, the Dupont, Logan and U Street areas of DC voted overwhelmingly for Fenty over Gray in the September 2010 primary. Fenty carried 9 out of 10 local precincts, winning six with more than 70% of the vote.
“I’m thinking about my job every day,” said Gray.