Friday, July 20, 2007

Polls Show Dean Surging

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 9:51 AM

The Clement campaign is in a panic after new polls are showing a surge by Karl Dean in the mayor's race. Both polls—one by Channel 4 released last night and a mayoral campaign internal poll leaked to the Scene this morning—show Dean rising to 18 percent.

The Channel 4 poll puts Dean ahead of Bob Clement, who was at 16 percent. In the poll leaked to the Scene by one of the campaigns, Clement remains on top at around 25 percent.

Both polls show Buck Dozier and Howard Gentry are tanking, falling into the low teens. In neither poll has David Briley gained much. He's still in the single digits.

The Clement campaign, the solid leader in the contest from the beginning, is now facing the real prospect of finishing second to Dean on Aug. 2. A runoff would be held Sept. 11. To stop Dean's surge, Clement would have to unleash spending on negative TV ads. But he can't do that because he might run low on cash for the runoff. Dean, writing checks from his family wealth, appears on track to spend $2 million through Sept. 11, and Clement can't match that.

Dean seems to have benefited greatly from his Tennessean endorsement and his TV ad on that topic. Dozier and Gentry are losing support apparently because they have been unable to match the other candidates' spending on TV ads.

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