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Internal poll gives Roorda, Wieland slight edge in close races


Incumbent Sen. Paul Wieland and former state representative Jeff Roorda inch ahead as a large percentage of voters in Jefferson County have yet to make up their mind on who they plan to vote for come November, according to a new internal poll.

The survey, conducted by Voice Broadcasting Corp on behalf of Roorda, Democratic candidate for Jefferson County Executive, found that roughly 20 percent of likely voters had yet to decide how they planned to cast their ballot for Jefferson County Executive, state Senate, and a minimum wage hike.

The Texas-based company utilized Interactive Voice Response technology relying on a predictive database of frequent voters weighted for the anticipated turnout and partisan makeup of the general election. The results, which have a +/- 3.1 percent margin of error, were compiled from 581 likely voters who replied to the poll from October 2-4, 2018.

Since not all of Jefferson County is part of the 22nd Senate District, the survey utilized a split sample for that question, which increases the margin of error for that race.

Wieland appears to have a slight edge over Democrat Robert Butler with a 2 point lead — 39.4 percent to 37.2 percent, respectively. With the totals being within the margin of error and 20 percent of voters undecided at the times of the poll, the race is difficult to predict.

“This race is a dead heat,” Butler said, who indicated that this recent poll was consistent with internal polling. “The winner will be whomever shows up on election day.”

In the race for Jefferson County Executive, the poll has Roorda taking the lead over Republican Dennis Gannon by five points roughly one month before the election. One-quarter of voters were undecided with 39.8 percent indicating they plan to vote for Roorda and 34.9 percent saying the plan to cast their vote for Gannon.

The survey also indicated strong support — 66 percent in favor — for Proposition B, which is a ballot measure asking voters to increase the states minimum wage.