Poll finds dead heat in Nashville mayor’s race

A poll commissioned by The Tennessean finds a statistical dead heat between Megan Barry and David Fox in the Nashville mayoral runoff election.

A survey taken this week by Public Policy Polling found Barry the choice of 46 percent of likely Nashville voters if the race were held today, compared with 45 percent who said they would vote for Fox. Ten percent of respondents said they are still undecided. (Note: Results may not total 100% due to rounding.)

The poll, a phone survey of 858 likely Metro voters taken on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, marks the first traditional third-party poll released at any point during Nashville’s yearlong mayoral race. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

“It’s obviously close and it’s partisan,” said Jim Williams, polling analyst for Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling, a firm that tends to work for Democratic clients nationally. “It’s going to come down to turnout and whose supporters are going to turn out in a stronger way.”

The runoff election is Sept. 10. Early voting began Aug. 21 and concludes Saturday.

…Barry, popular among liberals and progressives, has support of 74 percent of voters who identified as Democrats, the poll found, while Fox has the backing of 15 percent of Democrats. Fox, who has campaigned hard on fiscal conservatism, holds a strong edge among Republican voters, with 88 percent saying they support Fox compared with just 9 percent for Barry.

In the poll, Fox makes up the difference in Democratic-leaning Davidson County with much stronger support among independents. The poll found that 56 percent of independents said they would vote for Fox if the election were held today, while 32 percent said they would vote for Barry.