The Kasim Reed polling memo

This morning, the Atlanta mayoral campaign of Kasim Reed released the results of a tracking poll that showed the state senator in third place:

Which may have struck some of you as a strange bragging point. The specifics: Mary Norwood, 33%; Lisa Borders, 19% and Reed, 16%.

What Reed is advertising is movement relative to his two rivals — at least, according to the poll memo being distributed to potential donors.

Download it here, but this is the gist:

Although Norwood currently leads the pack, she has not managed to make any statistically meaningful progress since she began her campaign (Norwood support — May: 32 percent; August: 33 percent). With the so-called front-runner stalled in a going nowhere fast campaign and the second place candidate losing ground (Borders support — May: 25 percent; August: 19 percent) and poised to fall even further behind, it is clear that the dynamic of this race has changed. Currently, Kasim Reed is the only candidate with a positive trend.

No crosstab info is included. Remember, what you’re reading is a marketing tool. A sales pitch. A certain amount of skepticism is natural — and healthy, too.

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33 comments Add your comment


August 31st, 2009
4:43 pm

You would think if you paid a consulting/polling firm nearly $70,000 that they could at least be creative enough to show you not in last place.

Paul Johnson

August 31st, 2009
4:44 pm

Sales pitch? Hmmm…. Cornell Belcher is a nationally recognized pollster who was the President Obama’s pollster during the 2008 Presidential election and was also the lead pollster for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 2004 to 2008.

On the other hand, it’s quite strange that Mr. Towrey’s with Senator Reed in a distant 3rd was “released” the same day that the Reed campaign was endorsed by Ambassador Andrew Young….


August 31st, 2009
4:51 pm

The memo is somewhat of a sales pitch, but the numbers are solid.

Borders (or Cousins) definitely got her money’s worth out of the poll by Matt Towery the “former” republican hack.


August 31st, 2009
5:12 pm

The poll appears to show a clear shift in momentum for the Reed campaign. Watch out… We may have an exciting race ahead!

jayson jones

August 31st, 2009
5:17 pm

Seems like Reed is surging. Makes sense. I see a lot of his signs in yards. I’ll take a poll from a democratic pollster over one from a republican lawyer pretending to be a pollster any day.

Manny Fresh

August 31st, 2009
5:20 pm

@ TylerE…. that’s what a pollster who’s not reputible would do… (matt towery aka cousins property)… i doubt belcher would put his national rep on the line for a mayor’s race in atlanta… just my thoughts…


August 31st, 2009
5:23 pm


Smart thought… I have to agree.


August 31st, 2009
5:30 pm

@ Manny Fresh btw are you serious with the name? You really are a Kasim supporter. Isn’t Manny Fresh a thug rapper? Anyways, go look at the June disclosure. It’s crazy how much he paid them. I like Kasim, not the best candidate but he needs to do two things: get more out $70,000 and not let “Manny Freshes” like you be the face of his campaign.

Not So Fast

August 31st, 2009
5:42 pm

Interesting… Why is Lisa Borders using a Republican pollster? Isn’t she a “Democrat?”


August 31st, 2009
5:53 pm

Blame it on the vodka, blame it on the henny
Blame it on a blue tap, got you feeling dizzy
Blame it on the a-a-alcohol
Blame it on the a-a-alcohol
— Jamie Foxx

Bet he sings to Kasim at the private party in Ansley Park

Manny Fresh

August 31st, 2009
5:57 pm

@ tylerE…. sorry i couldn’t be as creative as you (with the name “tyler”)… i like kasim too… he could smile more and be more personable… but he’s the sharpest one running.. and the only person i’ve heard talking about young people and gang violence.. he has his ear to the ground on whats really going on in atlanta… maybe lisa and mary need to be listening to more “manny freshes” and they’d know what was really going on in the streets…


August 31st, 2009
6:00 pm

@Not So Fast That really makes you wonder if it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Manny Fresh

August 31st, 2009
6:01 pm

LOL @ Atlanta_Ed… wish I had a G to get up in there…

Slight fan of Reed

August 31st, 2009
6:01 pm

I wish Reed were surging. All I see are a see of blue Mary Norwood signs in my area. It’s rather depressing.

Not So Fast

August 31st, 2009
6:08 pm

@ TylerE You argument falls flat on it’s face…

(1) Even if the Reed campaign paid for the poll, Belcher is well-respected and widely recognized as a leading pollster. Like Manny Fresh said, it’s doubtful he would put that kind of a rep on the line for the sake of a local poll in a local race…

(2) More importantly, if Norwood or Borders had polling that supported Towery’s false findings, they would have released them earlier…

Politics At Its Finest

August 31st, 2009
6:39 pm

I think this poll is more indicative of the race. Borders wished Reed was far behind when…..they are really neck and neck. It makes sense that he killed her with fundraising last quarter, got the first major endorsement, and is polling VERY high with the 18-35 crowd. 18-35 year olds elected a President!

@Atlanta_Ed And don’t forget Academy Award Winner. I don’t see anything wrong with that!

Think of all of the celebs that came out for Obama. I think it is great that they can use their influence if they believe in the candidate. The only audience I have is on this blog! ha!

A.T.M. Atlanta Thoroughbred Muscle

August 31st, 2009
6:59 pm

OK people pull your skirts down.Lets address the true issue at hand. Who do you want to believe? Who’s poll of ‘random’ demographics truly reflects Atlanta’s opinion of the 3 mayoral candidates? I’m sure you guys are familiar with the adage: “The numbers dont lie!” Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with people with their own opinions and agendas, these numbers can be skewed or otherwise manipulated to motivate, encourage or discourage likely voters and supporters of each candidate. So again, it all comes down to who do you trust? If you cant trust the messenger, you cant trust the message. One could trust the numbers from Matt Towery, a Republican lawyer who ‘dabbles’ in polling and has yet to be accurate about anything- except perhaps what caliber bullet to put in his hunting rifle. But that wouldn’t be so smart as his futile attempts to discourage and confuse the voting population of Atlanta (a largely Democratic stronghold)is amusing at best- similar to one embracing the bark of a pine tree trunk trying to shake some leaves. The result is sticky fingers and a head full of pine cones at best! And the tree remains unmoved. Cornell Belcher on the other hand, is a nationally respected (working) Democratic pollster who got it right time and again from 2004-2008; who predicted the unprecedented (under a considerable amount of criticism I might add) and resulted with the nation’s first minority president inaugurated. Vegas odds and the rest of the smart money would be with Belcher. Count me in.Back to old sticky fingerz Towery, who’s left traces of his pine sap stuck to the hands of the bosses at Cousins Properties – Ms. Borders benefactor. Pay no mind to the manipulations of big business vying for a shot at the honey pot. Sorry guys, that’s sap. Go wash your hands. This poll Belcher took has been proven to be weighted properly and truly reflects Atlanta’s demographic. And in this case, I trust the messenger. Furthermore, if Norwood or Borders had polling or any info at all supporting Towery’s false findings, why haven’t they released them? They’ve had a week to really harp on these findings, but instead let them drain to the pipes of the billion dollar upgrade to our sewer/water system to be filtered-where it belongs. Mr. Belcher has found that Kasim Reed is the only candidate making significant gains in the polls. Makes sense given his rising profile with the recent endorsement by Ambassador Young. It all adds up to Mr Reed surging, and continuing to do so- not because of his new found name recognition, but because of his message and overall platform that will benefit the citizens of this city. And a supporting record of doing so. Check it out.His record I mean.I’m not a psychic waving wildly with an 8ball predicting the future. In fact, until I check the forecast for tomorrow, I won’t know if I need my umbrella or my shades. I do know enough to investigate for myself. I implore you reading this to do the same…

Donny Fairplay

August 31st, 2009
8:34 pm

kasim at strategy meeting:
we have got to throw everything that we can at borders to get to mary. so i want yall to go out on the blogs, try to tie borders to cousins.

newsflash to the reed idiots, including stephanie garbage:
lisa borders worked for cousins. mystery solved. if you are claiming some impropriety because of that then lets hear it. if not then stop the sloppy attempts at a whisper campaign. it smells of a poorly briefed social media team.

Where it's greater

August 31st, 2009
8:41 pm

and the best thing about this is that mary norwood gets fly under the radar… you people behave like crabs in a barrell.

Atlanta Voter

August 31st, 2009
9:20 pm

That is some serious spinning to brag about getting 16% in a poll! With numbers like that no wonder the Kasim campaign is sinking to these scare tactics. Every day I like Kasim less and less.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle

September 1st, 2009
12:43 am

Jumbo Galloway is the biggest puss in “journalism” he stopped commentary on his own post that detailed identidy of the racist that authored the intra-African-American memo. Jumbo is a puss and so is the AJC. You guys traffice in racism and should pay reparations.

Truth Teller

September 1st, 2009
6:03 am

Tsk, tsk…what tempers we have, all over politics. The Norwood campaign is headed to a run off, bottom line. More likely than not, Borders will be there with her. Reed has the resume but lacks the practical skills and the team (not counting Belcher) to win votes north of I-20. Remember, we are still in Georgia and with Obama in office some people are going to come out with a vengeance for Norwood on election day.


September 1st, 2009
7:53 am

Matt Towery is the white Aaron Turpeau. He wants a white mayor. Instead of circulating racist memos, Matt Towery circulates racist polls.

Unlike dumb-ass Turpeau, Matt Towery does not broadcast his racism so blatantly. Instead, he cleverly throws out false numbers “engineered” to pit Norwood against a shallow Lisa “sweet face and velvet hammer” Borders.

The Borders Campaign benefited mightily from Matt Towery’s made-up numbers. But thankfully, Obama’s pollster revealed just how “Mickey Mouse” the “Insider Advantage” poll actually was.

Insider Advantage. What an appropriate name.


September 1st, 2009
8:56 am

I agree Norwood will be in the run-off. However, she will face Reed, not Borders. The recent polls from Belcher show her support sliding at a rapid rate.

I bet the police are upset they endorsed her bc it got no attention at all.

By the first of October, it will be a clear picture of Reed and Norwood in a tight race headed to a run-off.

I wouldn’t be suprised if Reed were reaching out to Borders to set up an endorsement from her in the near future…


September 1st, 2009
11:00 am

Clearly that “newA” is a campaign plant. No objective person could come to that conclusion.

Politics At Its Finest

September 1st, 2009
11:18 am

@Donny Fairplay: you sound jadded. Everyone knows Borders/Cousins.

“it smells of a poorly briefed social media team”???????

who says something like that? I just took a look at the numbers and it appears like Reed is dominating the social media space. He is also dominating in the 18-35 age group. He also hasn’t let any surrogates get out of hand with emails and memos.

It actually appears that Reed has taken the high road because it would be easy to thrash both candidates (especially Norwood…not the brightest light bulb out here).

I wish he would take off his kid gloves and quit letting these chicks get away with the Hillary Clinton “whoa is me, I’m a woman” politics.


September 1st, 2009
2:31 pm

Hi oldA!

Not a campaign plant; however, clearly not a fan of Borders since she dropped out and re-entered the race.

I am floored that she is even as competitive that she is in the race. I am of the belief Cousins wants her to be mayor (for their benefit) more than she does.

I am clear that all campaigns have special interests supporting them; however, Cousins omnipotent place on her team is frightening. They raised over 75% of her total fundraising for the last quarter, which is CRAZY!

Borders is Bought and SOLD!!!


September 1st, 2009
3:18 pm

Listen up, kids. You actually would want a mayor that would have some ties to development. Think about it. Development = new jobs. I’m not siding with anyone in the race yet, but you’d think that Cousins pillaged your town in the dead of night or something. And for Kasim, if the young brother has ideas, that’s great. So what if he’s not personable? Atlanta has had enough of the good ol’ boy “buddy buddy” system, so someone needs to shake it up.

I just need more information, obviously, because I’m not seeing what all the fuss is about with the candidates and their ties to corporations, etc.

ATL by way of TX

September 2nd, 2009
12:42 am

Kasim is a distant third place, period! I can write a nice memo, as can most of you. Did any of you drinking the Kool Aid bother to read the end of the article? “No crosstab info is included. Remember, what you’re reading is a marketing tool. A sales pitch. A certain amount of skepticism is natural — and healthy, too.” Come on people, think!

As for Jaime Foxx, love him as an actor/singer/comedian. But last I checked he doesn’t live in Atlanta!

ATL by way of TX

September 2nd, 2009
1:15 am

They are drinking some really strong Kool Aid over in the Kasim office:

“The race is much tighter and closer than has been previously reported and these numbers reflect that,” said Reese McClainy, Reed’s deputy communications director. “Sen. Reed and Borders are in a statistical tie.”

Insider Advantage polls have continued to place Reed in the single digits and show stronger numbers for Borders.

Donny Fairplay

September 2nd, 2009
8:08 pm

@Politics At Its Finest


Is the “high road” cooking up phony numbers that don’t include who and where you polled. If he’s doing so well with young people, as you claim, then why aren’t those number broken down in his poll?

Concerned Citizen

September 3rd, 2009
3:51 pm

The poll that Kasim Reed released is completely false. He did not disclose the methodology behind the numbers. If the poll were true, he would have been happy to disclose the information. You people need to wake up and understand this “Lisa/Cousin’s” thing. All of the candidates have corporate backing. So please, before you speak do your research. Kasim is backed by Carter Real Estate and HJ Russell. Mary(Sarah Palin) Norwoood said she has 40 different developers giving her money. So people, please get your information straight and stop all the sensless commenting. If any of you would take time and attend a forum you will understand why Borders is a threat. She is the most knowledgeable of the city’s issues and finances than any other candidate running. The woman just has outstanding leadership qualities. I wasn’t a supporter at first but after attending three forums I understand why she is a threat. Norwood is another Sarah Palin, she’s way out of her league.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

September 9th, 2009
9:51 pm

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