Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, is trailing challenger Sarah Iannarone, who has said she is part of the radical leftist group antifa, by 11 points, according to a poll of likely voters.
The poll found that 30 percent of likely voters supported Wheeler in the nonpartisan election, while 41 percent supported Iannarone, Willamette Week reported.
The remaining respondents either were going to write in a candidate or were still undecided, 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
The phone survey was conducted Sept. 17-22 by DHM Research on behalf of the Portland Business Alliance and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Iannarone, who lost to Wheeler in 2016 and in the primary this year, has been running an aggressive campaign and has criticized Wheeler and the Portland Police Bureau on social media.
The 47-year-old has been on the front lines of the demonstrations in Portland and declared on Twitter last year, “I am Antifa.”
“To those who say Antifa are violent thugs: I am not a violent thug and I am Antifa,” Iannarone tweeted.
“I am Antifa because the Red Hats are coming after brown & black people, after Jews, after queer & trans people, and more. They are coming after our democracy.”
To those who say Antifa are violent thugs: I am not a violent thug and I am Antifa.
I am Antifa because the Red Hats are coming after brown & black people, after Jews, after queer & trans people, and more.
— sarah iannarone (she/her) (@sarahforpdx) January 27, 2019
In response to the latest poll, Iannarone said, “Polling doesn’t win elections, but this comes as no surprise.”
“My campaign talks to thousands of voters every week, and we’ve been ahead of the current Mayor for months, with very little awareness of protest votes outside of social media,” the statement on her campaign’s Twitter account read.
Wheeler has faced criticism for his handling of protests and policing as Portland faced months of violence and turmoil.
A survey of 435 voters conducted on behalf of a City Hall police accountability measure found Wheeler had an unfavorable rating of 63 percent and a favorability rating of 26 percent, according to The Oregonian.
The survey also found that 59 percent of voters felt Portland was heading in the wrong direction.
Wheeler’s campaign remains confident that the mayor will win in November despite the latest polls.
“Our internal polling shows that we’re in position to win and that we have a clear path to victory,” Wheeler campaign spokesman Danny O’Halloran told Willamette Week.
“Most voters are just tuning in to this race, and that’s why such a large number of respondents in this poll are undecided. We are confident that once voters have the opportunity to get to know both candidates, these numbers move decisively in Ted’s direction.”
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