by Marion Marks
At first blush, the KTBS 3–Shreveport Times mayoral poll seems to shed light on the mayor’s race. However, after examination I believe there is a major variance between their sample and who will vote in this election. Numbers will be far different from their suggested results when votes are counted.
Immediately the numbers in the racial, age and party mix should not center around their sample values. Black and white voters should be far closer in numbers. The age values, although trending older, should be probably 5-7 years younger, and Democrats should more closely approximate Republicans.
It appears the sample is based upon traditional land-line polls that are older, whiter and more female based. Shreveport, never consistent with other demographic bases pollsters want to sample, has been noted as polling more white and older than actual voter turnout.
The large undecided vote is probably larger than this poll suggests. People are still making up their minds for mayor (and other ballot items), and the forum and media vetting has hurdles for serious candidates ahead. Citizens can only hope facts candidates have yet to reveal, or expose, will be relevant and Shreveport’s future will not rely on the typical dirty-trick campaign material we expect.
Shreveporters have endured abuse the last eight years, and should not be fooled again by failing to understand the dynamics, agenda or expectations of backers who package candidates for the polls without ever giving the voter a chance to understand the “pig-in-poke” they will purchase for the next four years.
The pork we had on our diet seems to have sickened the city to the edge of recovery capabilities, and no triage team I know could resuscitate a city with much more neglect and abuse.
Voters need to look hard at the facts that backers and their teams behind each candidate don’t want you to understand. It’s easy to discount the marijuana candidate, the no-show candidate and the angry accountant, yet Cedric Glover appears to be leading the field thru Ollie Tyler.
The three leading the poll, Tyler-Provenza-Williams, seem to have potential to win, and each has an opportunity to bring change to the city, in spite of the apparent back-room management teams. The question for each of these that I believe must be asked is, if elected, what management and support structure that you bring to government plaza will be able to fill the vacuum of leadership without a whole new middle-management team around you?
Tyler’s prominent base of supporters includes many in the Glover administration who I believe have been complete failures, and the “NO” attitude of the city council has not been able to make any substantive difference. Current city gridlock may be partially a result of fear and knowledge that Glover and the strings behind the current administration will not change if Tyler is elected. The poll indicates that there are still a large group who would be content with “business as usual.”
I can only hope this poll shakes up enough voters to ask hard questions in the days ahead. I know it’s far too quiet out there. Again, much water will pass under the Texas Street Bridge before November 4.