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Polling indicates tight mayoral race

Boston city hall
Boston City Hall. With one week remaining until Boston voters elect the two mayoral candidates for the November general election, The Daily Free Press city news section presents an update of recent candidate polls. RACHEL SHARPLES/ DFP FILE

Voters in the city of Boston have one week left to decide which two mayoral candidates they will elect to compete in the November general election. 

What are the polls telling us?

As Sept. 14 approaches, the latest Suffolk University Political Research Center/Boston Globe poll shows City Councilor Michelle Wu leading the field at 30.6%, with Acting Mayor Kim Janey at second with 20.4% and City Councilors Annissa Essaibi George and Andrea Campbell closely fighting for third place, tallying 18.8% and 17.8% respectively. 

A Policy For Progress Boston Poll, released Sept. 3, also shows Wu at the front of the race with a 30% edge. The 453 registered voters who participated in the poll put Janey at 15%, Essaibi George at 13% and Campbell at 11%. 

This poll also reveals housing costs have now nearly tied COVID-19 as the top issues voters are concerned about this mayoral cycle, heading the list with a 23% and 25% count respectively. 

These figures contrast with those reported by the Sept. 7 SUPRC/Boston Globe poll, which placed education as the most important issue to voters at 20%. This topic was closely followed by concerns with housing at 19%, racial issues and equality at 17% and the economic and labor conditions of the city at 14%.

As for each candidate’s strengths, the poll reported that Wu’s strongest demographic lies with 70% of Asian-Americans, as well as 40% of voters aged 18 to 34 and 36% of those aged 35 to 49. 

Janey, the poll reveals, boasts high approval ratings and over 46% of Black voter support. She also counts support from 30% of voters with a partial college education and 26% of the population aged 65 and older. 

Essaibi George does well among moderate voters and has garnered support from 56% of registered Republicans, according to the SURPC/Boston Globe poll. 

Who is spending the most money?

According to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the tally of total contributions raised between Jan.1 and Sept. 7 is led by Janey at $1,510,022.13. Campbell follows at second with $1,445,553.27. Wu and Essaibi George trail at a close third at $1,386,735.65, and $1,322,900.65, respectively. 

Although she does not lead the race in contributions raised, Campbell heads the charge in total expenditures between Jan.1 and Aug. 31, spending $1,618,243.91. 

Despite this, the Policy for Progress Poll pronounced Wu as the best-known candidate. 

How are the campaigns progressing in the lead-up to the election?

With the race nearing its end, each candidate has arranged their schedule according to the missions they hold central at the heart of their campaigns. 

Campbell is pursuing her vision of an “equitable and connected Boston” through her Jamaica Plain House Party scheduled for Sept. 10. According to Campbell’s campaign page, “Boston can’t afford to wait any longer to move toward equity and justice for all,” which is why her candidacy has arranged various Community Canvass Kick-Offs spread throughout the city. 

Wu is staying connected to her identity as a mother, daughter of immigrants and proponent of the power of community by organizing a GOTV Canvass in Chinatown from Sept. 7 to Sept. 9. 

According to her campaign website, Essaibi George has visited about 16 assisted living facilities and senior homes since July, “seeking to engage seniors who have not been able to accept visitors since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Incumbent Mayor Janey’s latest activity centers around dealing with the COVID-19 Delta variant. Her campaign website cites her announcement of Boston city workers being required to vaccinate or face regular testing as an example of her leadership practices. 

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