Potential Voters Appear Unfamiliar With Most Candidates

By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News; James Buechele Email
By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News; James Buechele Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 7, 2012- 6pm

We're less than one week away from the Florida primaries but one survey shows potential voters are not paying close attention to who exactly is running.

A recent survey by TallahasseeVoices, sponsored by Kerr and Down's Research, shows that potential voters aren't really paying attention to the local elections and they actually have an even harder time picking out those names who are actually running for office.

364 potential voters responded to the survey. A list of 32 names were given. 26 names were candidates running for office in Leon County or the City of Tallahassee, while six were not.

More than half of respondents were only able to identify 9 of the 26 candidates.

"I think it also speaks to the lack of real interest among voters in these local elections," said Phillip Downs who worked on the survey.

Leon County Commission Chair Akin Akinyemi placed highest with 91% awareness while city commissioner candidate Scott Maddox had 80%.

"I mean typically if we have 30% turnout in a local election, then that means that people aren't really tuned in."

"If they're not paying attention to what's happening at home they're not going to be paying attention nationally," said registered voter Gerald Carpenter.

The good news for candidates is there's still time to get their name out there. The bad news is the election is less than a week away.

TallahasseeVoices will release the full survey Wednesday morning.

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Tallahassee, Florida - August 7, 2012 - Noon

A new survey comes to the conclusion that potential voters aren't tuned in to local races.

364 people took part in the survey conducted from July 6th to the 16th. Participants were given a list of 32 names and were asked to identify which of them is running for office.

- In that list, there are 26 candidates and 6 names of non-candidates.

- More than half of survey respondents were only able to identify 9 of the 26 as candidates for local office

- Leading the way, 91 percent of respondents were able to identify Leon County Commission Chair Akin Akinyemi as a candidate.

- At the bottom of the list, only 2 percent of respondents were able to identify David "Bubba" Riddle as a candidate for office. He's running for Tallahassee City Commission seat 2.

- In fact, respondents identified one of the six non-candidates as a candidate more often than Riddle.

There was also one trick question in the survey.

Respondents were asked to identify the incumbent in the list of the six candidates running for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 1. More than a third of respondents identified former Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox as the incumbent.

The correct answer is none of them are.

The seat is currently held by Commissioner Mark Mustian who's not seeking re-election.

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Tallahassee, Florida - August 7, 2012

Executive Summary

Potential voters are not really tuned into local races.

Over 8 out of 10 potential voters know that Scott Maddox and Akin Akinyemi are running for local offices. After these 2 candidates, awareness that some candidates are running is surprisingly low.

For example, only 73% of potential voters know that long-time Sheriff, Larry Campbell, is running

Only 58% of potential voters know that Andrew Gillum is running, slightly more than the 53% that know Steve Stewart is running.

See the complete list by clicking on the Power Point icon above.


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