ATLANTA -- An 11Alive / SurveyUSA poll shows a pitched battle among eight candidates to make a runoff in the Atlanta mayor's race in November 2017.
The poll indicates that city councilwoman Mary Norwood is the clear frontrunner. The question is which candidate would potentially make the runoff with her.
Norwood said Wednesday it's no surprise that she's at the top of the field. "I’ve worked very hard for citizens all over this city. And I’ve run four times citywide. So there is a tremendous amount of not only name recognition but trust," Norwood said. She narrowly lost the mayor's race in 2009 to Kasim Reed.
"Actually, Mary Norwood is a lot weaker than she was in ’09," said city councilwoman and candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms, who thinks getting into a runoff with Norwood would be fruitful for the challenger.
"You look at the candidates who have been in office for a very long time and have been running for mayor for an even longer time, I’m satisfied with where I am (in the polls) but I will not be happy until I win," Lance Bottoms said.
The 11Alive Survey USA poll shows
27% Mary Norwood
10% Ceasar Mitchell
9% Keisha Lance Bottoms
9% Kwanza Hall
8% Vincent Fort
6% Peter Aman
6% Cathy Woolard
4% John Eaves
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent, meaning the differences among the second-tier candidates are statistically insignificant.
"We’re gonna win this thing," said councilman and candidate Kwanza Hall. He says he thinks the race and demographics of the candidates matter less in this city election than they ever have. "Atlanta’s not looking for a black, white, gay or straight mayor. The citizens have said they want a great mayor," Hall said.
City council president Ceasar Mitchell has raised the most money in the race, yet remains locked in the second-tier of candidates, according to our poll. He contends that the poll has missed many of his voters. "What we’re showing is that our message of listening, leadership, taking this city forward, leaving nobody behind, is resonating with voters," Mitchell said.
Most of the major candidates are current or former city council members. State Senator Vincent Fort is not. "Our message is getting through. It’s resonating. It’s an insurgent campaign. And that’s the kind of campaign I want to run," Fort said of the poll.
A spokeswoman for Peter Aman, former CFO in Mayor Kasim Reed's administration, said in a statement "with the most amount of cash-on-hand, Peter Aman has the resources needed to continue his surge in the polls. Our message of advancing Atlanta together is resonating with the voters."
Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and former city council president Cathy Woolard are also among the candidates clustered behind Norwood.