Poll: Peduto, Wagner, Lamb ...

Published by James O'Toole on .

A Harrisburg firm new to the Pittsburgh political scene is out with the first public polling on the Democratic primary for mayor of Pittsburgh.  The early numbers favor city Councilman Bill Peduto.

Keystone Analytics, a private research firm, commissioned a survey of 401 likely Democratic primary voters that found Mr. Peduto leading among the five names they tested.  Whether all of them will actually enter the race is one question; how the findings would be affected by the new names from the growing list of potential candidates is another.

With those cautions in mind, here are their numbers:

Peduto, 30 percent; former Auditor General Jack Wagner, 20 percent; city Controller Michael Lamb, 13 percent; state Sen. Jim Ferlo, 7 percent; city Councilwoman Darlene Harris, 5 percent; and 24 percent undecided or refused to answer.

The survey included 401 names deemed likely to vote because they had a history of showing up in Democratic primaries.  It included land lines and a subsample of cell phone numbers.  The margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Keystone Analytics is a research firm that describes itself as bipartisan and performs political and market research, chiefly for businesses and trade associations.  Joel Searby, a consultant for the firm, said that he was struck by how well known these candidates were to the Democratic electorate at this relatively early stage of the contest.    Mr. Wagner's name was the most familiar with 93 percent name recognition.  Mr. Peduto, Mr. Ferlo, and Mr. Lamb were all above 85 percent and Ms. Harris, the president of city council, was known to 77 percent of those questioned.

Mr. Searby said the firm would continue to survey Democratic voters in the months between now and the primary.

In other developments in the race, Mr. Lamb won his first major labor endorsement as Teamsters Joint Council 40 lined up behind his candidacy.  Among the current candidates, Mr. Peduto had gained the most union support so far, but several unions that had backed Mayor Luke Ravenstahl are now orphans in the race, casting around for a new candidate to embrace.  Officials of the Allegheny County Labor Council will be interviewing candidates for mayor and other races Friday.  To receive the group's backing candidates able to be able to surmount the relatively high bar of their 2/3 majority requirement.

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