Former commonwealth’s attorney and state legislator Joe Morrissey is the front-runner in Richmond's crowded field of mayoral contenders, according to a poll released today.
The poll, conducted by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, shows Morrissey leading with 28 percent of the vote citywide. He holds substantial leads in three voter districts – the 5th, the 6th and the 8th – as well as leads in the 3rd and 7th districts, meaning if ballots were cast today, he would likely be the city's next mayor.
“If Joe Morrissey is unable to win the election outright, he will almost certainly be in a runoff,” Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center, says in a news release. “The real contest at this point might be over whether any of the other candidates can bump Jack Berry out of second place.”
Trailing Morrissey is former Venture Richmond executive Jack Berry with 16 percent of the vote citywide and leads in three voter districts – the 1st, the 2nd and the 4th. The two City Council candidates, Michelle Mosby and Jon Baliles, sit in third and fourth with 10 and 9 percent of the vote, respectively. Levar Stoney, the former secretary of the commonwealth, polls at 7 percent citywide.
A quarter of city voters said they were undecided with two months left before the Nov. 8 election, the poll shows. If no candidate wins the most votes in five voter districts, the top two vote-getters citywide will face off in a second election held Dec. 20.
The survey is based on phone interviews with 600 registered voters across the city's nine voter districts. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent for the citywide numbers, but between 13 and 16 percent in the individual districts.