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Voice of the Voter polls community

Updated: Friday, September 6 2013, 06:55 PM EDT

Rochester, N.Y. -- A 2013 Voice of the Voter Poll shows Rochester Mayor Tom Richards leading his challenger, City Council President Lovely Warren, in the race for mayor. It also gives us a look at how respondents view our community, the issues being debated in the community, and how two past political foes are viewed months after squaring off in a Congressional campaign.

The Mayor’s Race

Richards and Warren square off in a Democratic Primary to be held on September 10th. Green Party Candidate Alex White will be on the ballot in November.

When asked if who they would vote for if the Democratic primary were held today 55% of respondents said Richards, 28% said Warren, and 17% said did not know or had no opinion on the race.

Alex White was viewed favorably by 21% of voters and unfavorably by 15%. Despite a strong showing in the 2011 Special Election this poll indicates that White still needs to build name recognition because 63% of respondents did not know who he was.

The Siena College Poll was conducted between July 29th and August 1st and it included responses from more than 1,000 registered voters in the City of Rochester; more than 600 were registered Democrats.

Voice of the Voter will host a debate between Richards and Warning on September 3rd at 8 p.m. The debate will take place at WXXI’s studios.

A Look At Our Community

This Voice of the Voter Poll also asked respondents how they felt about various parts of our community and issues being debated.

When asked if the State of New York was “on the right track” or “headed in the wrong direction” 51% of people polled said “on the right track.” 33% said in the “wrong direction” and 16% had no opinion.

51% of respondents also said that the City of Rochester was “on the right track” while 38% thought the city was headed in the “wrong direction.” 16% had no opinion.

A series of questions asked respondents to rate what they thought of a various aspects of life here in the Rochester community. Below are some of those questions and responses.

How responsive local government is to the needs of citizens?

Excellent 3%
Good 29%
Fair 40%
Poor 19%
Don’t know to say 9%

The quality of our public schools:

Excellent 2%
Good 13%
Fair 29%
Poor 46%
Don’t know to say 10%

The condition of public parks and other recreational facilities:

Excellent 16%
Good 52%
Fair 19%
Poor 5%
Don’t know to say 8%

The condition of local roads, sidewalks, and other public works:

Excellent 3%
Good 37%
Fair 36%
Poor 22%
Don’t know to say 2%

The job done by the police to keep citizens safe:

Excellent 11%
Good 41%
Fair 31%
Poor 13%
Don’t know to say 3%

The ability to obtain suitable employment:

Excellent 1%
Good 20%
Fair 39%
Poor 28%
Don’t know to say 12%

Maggie vs. Louise Again?

In 2012 one of the most talked about Congressional elections pitted longtime incumbent Louise Slaughter (D – Fairport) against three-term Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks (R – Webster). The result was a landslide victory for Rep. Slaughter and a year later this Voice of the Voter Poll shows the community still backs Slaughter and is reluctant to embrace Brooks.

75% of respondents stated they have a “Favorable” opinion of Rep. Slaughter and a closer look shows that 86% of Democrats and 65% of independent or “other” voters share that opinion. Just 46% of Republicans view Rep. Slaughter in a favorable light.

18% of respondents gave Slaughter an unfavorable rating and 7% did not know enough to respond.

Meanwhile, County Executive Brooks received a 51% “Unfavorable” rating from voters and a 41% “Favorable” rating. 8% said they did not know enough to respond. While Brooks enjoys a favorable rating from 63% of Republicans polled, 59% of Democrats polled view Brooks in an unfavorable light.

Mayoral Control of Schools?

The issue first surfaced in January 2010 when then-Mayor Bob Duffy of Rochester launched a campaign to take over control of the struggling Rochester City School District. The campaign failed and as the district’s struggles continue voters were asked now, three years later, if they support or oppose the Mayor being in control of RCSD.

38% said they supported the idea but 49% said they oppose. 14% had no opinion on the issue.

Voice of the Voter is a partnership between 13WHAM, WXXI Public Broadcasting, the Democrat and Chronicle, WDKX (103.9-FM), and YNN.

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