A couple of weeks ago, I posted this piece on Greg Ballard, a retired marine, who is running against Democratic incumbent Bart Peterson, on the Republican ticket. At the time of that writing, polls were showing Ballard trailing Peterson by 13 percentage points, despite his party not providing any money to his bid, having virtually no money at all (approx. $51,000), and Peterson having a huge war chest.
Well, today the Indy Star released results of a newer poll.
Skyrocketing taxes appear to be fueling a tightening race between Mayor Bart Peterson and GOP challenger Greg Ballard, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR (Channel 13) poll.
The poll of 400 likely voters in Marion County shows Peterson with a narrow lead over Ballard, 43 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian Fred Peterson received 5 percent of the vote in the poll.
Thirteen percent of the poll respondents said they were either not sure or did not support any of the candidates. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The thirteen percent undecided will likely decide the race.
Again the amazing thing is Ballard has no money. As a result, the only ads seen in Indy television have been from the mayor's campaign. In fact, since the last numbers were released, there has been a blitzkrieg of ads for Peterson, which apparently has been to no avail. Most of them are hollow and empty, in the substance department.
One ad I find interesting is one where a lady is telling us all how she credits Mayor Peterson for giving Indianapolis the kind of school system that have kept her two twin 16 year-olds, in school. It all sounds good. But the fact is, the mayor has no control over the schools. In Indiana, schools are a separate entity and the mayor has no authority or influence over them, whatsoever.
To me, this is a sign of desperation. (Local journalist Matt Tully has a more in-depth analysis.)
When asked about the numbers today, as you may guess, the mayor's campaign downplayed them. The mayor, himself, said that the only poll that counted was the one on election day. In essence, he's right. But, it was his body language and the tone of his voice that indicated to me that he was more concerned than he would have us all believe.
With all of this in mind, it calls to mind the national scene and the large amounts of money that the Democrats are amassing right now. Money can be raised, money can be spent. But, when all is said and done, the mood of the voters will determine the outcome of the election, not the balance statement of the campaign's bank account.