InsiderAdvantage is out with a poll this afternoon in the Atlanta race for mayor that shows Councilwoman Mary Norwood at 45 percent and within reach of outright victory on Tuesday.
Results are similar to those of a WXIA/Survey USA poll conducted earlier this week. The IA poll puts the contest thusly:
Mary Norwood: 45%
Kasim Reed: 25%
Lisa Borders: 16%
Jesse Spikes: 2%
The poll was conducted Oct. 29 among 704 registered voters in Atlanta. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6%. The data have been weighted for age, race, gender and political affiliation.
Says InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery:
[I]f the election were held today, Norwood would likely be within one or two percent of winning the race without a runoff. Her barrage of ads and the apparent decline in Borders’ support suggests that white voters are moving to Norwood. That said, Reed now appears to be the African-American candidate with substantial support from the black community.
IA has included crosstabs for inspection.
In the normal arc of a campaign, candidates like to finish with warm-and-fuzzy advertising that reminds voters that they’re voting for someone, not just against the other candidate. But if the IA numbers are close to correct, then Reed and Borders won’t have that luxury.
Norwood can expect to have the kitchen sink thrown at her over the weekend, in an attempt to keep her under 50 percent-plus-one.
Reed and Borders have been on the receiving end of last-minute endorsements this morning. Reed was endorsed by the group Georgia Independent Voters:
“We’re proud to announce our support for Kasim Reed for Mayor of Atlanta,” said Thyrsa M. Gravely, a long-time independent political organizer and a key player in GIV’s candidate screening process. “Reed has been on the just side of important electoral issues here in Georgia, and in our conversations he indicated a willingness to address our concerns regarding political reform by being a spokesperson at the state and national level.”
Borders was endorsed by Southern Voice, the newspaper aimed and gays and lesbians, with this explanation:
Reed’s track record would have earned him our endorsement except for one crucial issue: He is the only leading candidate who doesn’t support gay marriage.
“Where I am is that like anyone else I have my own personal faith, and I’m working through issues about marriage equality in my own private way, as my own private person,” Reed told us back in May. “I have believed, as I have for a long time, in civil unions.”
Regardless of whether you personally want to marry or where you think the issue should fall on the so-called “gay agenda,” the fight for marriage rights cuts to the core of what it means to truly view our relationships — and therefore, us as human beings — as equal to heterosexuals.
Reed’s “personal faith” is no reason to deny marriage rights to gay couples in a secular government. Deep down, he’s still not sure our relationships are as sacred as his. You may choose to vote for him for other reasons, but LGBT issues shouldn’t be among them.
That leaves Norwood and Borders. Both support marriage equality. Both are familiar faces in the Atlanta Pride parade and other LGBT events — especially Borders. She also helped broker the deal to get Pride back in Piedmont Park, albeit on Halloween weekend.
Back in 2003, Norwood sponsored legislation that would have moved last call in Atlanta bars back from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. The call to close bars earlier was an attempt at a “one size fits all” solution to violence, in Buckhead Village.
We have also been remiss in not drawing your attention to, at a cinematic level, one of the cooler TV ads, put together by the mayoral campaign of Kyle Keyser:
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