Poll indicates Poloncarz is in a strong position heading into 2023

Election 2022 still has three weeks to run, but it is not too early to take a quick peek ahead to 2023 and the key race for Erie County Executive.

Politics and Other Stuff has been given access to top line results of an internal poll concerning the 2023 election for county executive. The poll indicates Poloncarz is well positioned in a re-election effort next year.

Political insiders recently have been speculating about the possible entry into the county executive race by Congressman Chris Jacobs.  A post on this blog noted some recent efforts to promote Jacobs.  Jacobs has not spoken publicly about any interest he may have in running for the office.

Here are some of the highlights of the poll:

  • On the question of whether Erie County is headed on the right track or wrong track, respondents say right track by a 58 to 42 percent margin.
  • A majority of poll respondents rate Poloncarz’s job performance positively, 23 percent describing his work as excellent and another 32 percent saying it is good.
  • Jacobs’ job rating is negative by a 41 to 59 percent margin; 12 percent give him an excellent rating and 29 percent rate his job performance as good.
  • On the question of voting for Poloncarz as the Democrat and Working Families parties candidate for re-election or Jacobs as the Republican and Conservative candidate for County Executive in 2023, poll respondents said that if the election were held today, they would favor Poloncarz by a 57 to 43 percent margin.

The poll of 2,591 likely voters was conducted between October 8 and 11 and was weighted by age, party, gender, and education.  The margin of error is three percent.

The poll was conducted before Poloncarz’s recent release of his proposed 2023 county budget.  The budget sees the average county property tax rate decreased again.  Spending is increased for the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the county library system, and cultural agencies.  County finances have been well managed throughout the Poloncarz administration.

Covid management activities have dominated much of the work of the first three years of this CE term. While he has not been lacking for criticism for some of the work of his administration, the poll may indicate that a majority of voters believe Poloncarz has managed local policies well.

The possibility of a Jacobs run for county executive is undoubtedly driven by Jacobs’ recent stance on gun control. There is not a long list of Republicans who might be contenders for the office.

Anything is possible in politics these days, but it does seem somewhat a stretch to see the Republican and Conservative parties, who literally ran Jacobs out of Congress just six months ago, choose to overlook their gun-fanaticism and turn around four months from now and nominate him for another office.  Party endorsements for 2023 will be made in February for a petitioning process that will start in March.

Aside from the gun control issue, Jacobs as a candidate for local office in 2023 would also have to do a lot of explaining about his congressional record, short as it has been. A close look at that record will likely show him to be a supporter of many right-wing Republican legislative positions. He voted on January 6, 2021 against certifying the presidential election results in Arizona, confirming his Trump loyalty.

Like a football team that might take their focus off the game at hand to think about the next game that they think is more critical, political leaders need to take care of the current election before speculating too deeply about the one next year.  A lot can happen in a year.  Nonetheless, the poll results noted above give local politicos a preview about what may be coming.  Mark Poloncarz will be a candidate for re-election in 2023, and at the moment his prospects look pretty good. 

Watch this space.

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