Poll: Over 50% of voters support a recall of Mayor Cantrell
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A new poll shows strong support for recalling Mayor Latoya Cantrell and the crime problem may be a big part of public perceptions of Cantrell.
The robocall poll was conducted by political scientist and pollster Ed Chervenak, Ph.D., of Edgewater Research, and Tony Licciardi, the developer of the “My People Vote” which is a campaign canvassing app.
Four hundred and two registered voters in Orleans Parish took part in the survey and were asked if they thought Cantrell should be recalled and the majority said yes.
According to the poll, 55.4% said “recall” Cantrell, 36.9% answered, “don’t recall” and 7.7 % responded, “don’t know”.
“Fifty-five percent say that they support the recall effort and we are finding some differences. There seems to be a gender gap. Women seem to be more supportive of the recall than are men,” said Chervenak.
Among the races, 63% of whites favor a recall compared to 53% of blacks.
“Whites are more supportive than African Americans of the recall as well, so we are seeing some distinctions based on demographics in the city,” Chervenak stated.
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The survey also asked voters if they thought the city was headed in the right direction. And 30% said New Orleans was moving in the right direction compared with 64.5 who said, “wrong direction”.
“Most people, in fact, probably a strong majority of people believe the city is moving in the wrong direction and that we’re finding this almost across all demographic groups with the exception of black males who a majority believe the city is moving in the right direction,” said Chervenak.
And that sentiment impacts opinions related to the recall campaign.
“Wrong direction of the city is directly related to support for the recall, so overwhelmingly if you believe the city is on a wrong path you overwhelmingly support the recall, so that makes sense,” said Chervenak.
The poll was taken as people are concerned about the city’s violent crime problem.
Ashraf Esmail, Ph.D., is a Dillard University criminologist.
“Crime has been in abundance, especially violent crime the last couple of years since the pandemic and hasn’t reduced and people are lacking confidence in what’s going on and want to see some type of change whether its right or not,” said Esmail.
“Yes, that is driving a lot of attitudes about the direction of the city,” said Chervenak. “So, the mayor has to get a handle on crime.”
The NOPD continues to have a manpower shortage. And Esmail says agencies around the U.S. are reaching out to him looking for potential law enforcement applicants.
“It’s not an area of prestige that people are looking to go into because, I know I’m getting emails every day from agencies across the country, every day, literally, asking to talk to my students at Dillard University,” he said.
As for the poll, Chervenak stresses that it is a snapshot in time.
“The substance of the poll shows that the sentiment, public sentiment is not moving in the mayor’s direction; that perceptions of her are more negative than positive and that what she needs to do, in fact, is shift those perceptions,” he said.
More than 50,000 signatures are needed to force a recall election.
“The inherent challenge is maintaining that energy level for a 180-day period. Typically, what happens is these signature-gathering efforts begin to run out of steam,” said Chervenak.
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