Mayoral candidate Jay Breneman is leading in the polls, according to a survey the Breneman Campaign conducted.
With a margin of error of 3.9 percent, County Councilman Jay Breneman has the support of 29 percent of democrats polled, candidate Bob Merski has 25 percent and Joe Cchember at 20 percent support.
Breneman says his campaign called 407 registered democratic “committed” voters over a three and half week period, with 378 of those finishing the survey.
Breneman says it asked four open-ended questions.
However, Breneman says it’s still anyone’s game because of the 64 percent of voters still undecided.
Breneman says, “Having the largest, most diverse campaign team, we’ve talked to more voters, we’ve knocked on more doors, and I think the poll results are a reflection of our efforts. But there’s a lot of ways to go. There’s a lot of voters still we have to talk to, and I’m still going to be out there earning their vote and earning their support every step of the way.”
However a local expert says polling for a local election is difficult, and everyone should take the results with a “a grain of salt.”
Joseph Morris, director of Mercyhurst University’s Center of Applied Politics, says, “Both the Merski Campaign poll and the Breneman Campaign poll have left a whole host of methodological questions unanswered. As someone who does polls for a living, I am interested in learning how data is collected, and having questions I have about the data answered. Both cases, that did not happen.”
Morris says polls are done for several reasons including to gage public opinion on certain issues, campaign strategies and tactics.
Morris says, “You release the poll results. Not surprisingly they’re favorable to your campaign and suddenly everyone’s talking about you.”
One voter who says, although name recognition through surveying is important to him when he goes to cast his vote, he says he recently has a new view polling numbers.
Bill Long, Erie voter, says, “Because the recent (President) Trump election, I don’t have that much faith in the polls whole heartedly. It depends what poll it is. Some of them are right on, I realize that. But I mean, I take a look at the experience, qualifications, what they stand for and if they have a chance on winning.”
Some voters say they’re skeptical of polling numbers and that they don’t influence their vote.
Shayna Dykes, Erie voter, says, “I look into it and see who the person is and everything. If I stand by it, then that’s who I vote for.”
Mary Jo Buttons, Erie voter, says, “They’re all different, and just nothing definitely. Not in my mind. I don’t define my decisions that way by polls,”
Morris also says for people to remember there’s a margin of error with every poll conducted, but he also says Erie is fortunate to have a wide range of candidates for voters to choose from.