It’s been about four weeks since Mayor Vincent Gray’s 2010 corrupt “shadow” campaign was revealed. Shortly after U.S. Attorney Ron Machen announced the Gray campaign’s failure to report $653,000 in campaign funds used in his race against DC’s incumbent mayor, Adrian Fenty, several councilmembers called for Gray’s resignation, including Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), David Catania (I-At Large) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).
About a week after the news broke, The Washington Post published a poll, illustrating the District’s discontentment with the mayor. According to the poll, 54% of readers said Gray should resign, while another 59% disapproved of the way Gray is handling his job as Mayor.
Here at Borderstan, we decided to conduct our own poll to see how the Dupont-Logan-U Street area compared to the city overall. It’s no secret that this part of the city is not a “Gray area.” In this neighborhood, then-incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty was the heavy favorite in the September 2010 primary results, running up huge majorities. Then, in the November general election a write-in campaign for Fenty got a surprisingly large number of votes (39% in Ward 2 and 30% in Ward 1).
Reader Poll Results on Gray
So, when the Borderstan reader poll results came in — it was really no surprise that a large majority of poll respondents are not pleased with Gray and the revelations and accusations surrounding his 2010 campaign. Of Borderstan readers who took the poll:
- 77% said that Gray should resign now
- 16% said Gray should not resign unless indicted for a crime
- 2% said Gray should not leave office unless convicted of a crime
- 5% of readers were not sure what Gray should do
What’s next for Gray? Aside from a recent meeting between Gray’s chief of staff and crisis management expert, Judy Smith, it seems as though the scandal has fizzled out in the news over the past month. Could the lack of publicity buy some time for the mayor? Some political analysts predicted that he would resign from his position, but nothing has happened and Gray has not been legally charged with any wrongdoing. In the end, will it all be much ado about nothing, with Gray serving out the rest of his term?
Perhaps the most interesting question is, “If Gray did end up resigning, would win the special election to succeed him?”