by Alan Lange

We now have two polls to compare and contrast.


Johnson 30%

Melton 64%
Not sure 6%


Johnson 35%

Melton 48%
Not sure 16%

The WJTV Poll was conducted on April 26-27 by SurveyUSA, and polled 783 registered voters. Survey accuracy is +/- 3.4%. Additional detail on this poll can be found here.

The WAPT Poll was conducted by Mason Dixon and polled 500 likely voters with an accuracy of +/- 4.5%


Both polls give Melton a strong overall lead in relative terms over Johnson. In a primary where the projected total votes will be about 45,000 votes (about half of the registered voters in Jackson) in the primary, the WJTV poll which contacted 783 registred voters (1.7% of projected vote count) is a pretty big deal and is statistically very significant.

WJTV’s poll has Melton running the table across all age/race/gender groups. WAPT’s poll of likely voters shows it significantly closer and does take into account the “self described” Democratic vote, which shows Johnson and Melton in a statistical dead heat, which I think is probably right on. When “crossovers” are factored in, that’s where Johnson gets in trouble.

My bet . . .

The African American vote will likely split close to down the middle with no overwhelming winner. All polling has shown that so far. Voters in Wards 1 and 7, which will likely account for 13-14,000 votes or so will go overwhelmingly for Melton – probably 75%+. In a race where 22-23,000 votes will win the primary, having a 10-12,000 vote head start out of those two wards may be too much for Johnson to overcome. Ward 6 is pretty conservative and will likely split and may even go Melton (as Marshand Crisler only won in 2001 by 100 votes against a strong Republican contender). Ward 6 probably means 3,000 votes for Melton. Wards 2, 3, 4 & 6 may lean Johnson, but probably not to the degree he needs.

You can do your own analysis by projecting from vote totals in the 2001 general election.

For Johnson to have any hope, he would need to be putting up 70-75% numbers in the African American community – hence his strategy of “priveleged and powerful”, “our progess has enemies” and “they can’t turn us back”. Based on all the polling data to date, it doesn’t look like that kind of run in the cards.