BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham Mayor William Bell is in a strong position to win re-election, according to the results of an exclusive new WBRC FOX6 News poll.
The poll of most likely Birmingham voters found 54% make Mayor Bell their first choice in the August 22 election, with contractor and former Auburn player Chris Woods a distant 2nd at almost 17%. Assistant city attorney and Birmingham Board of Education member Randall Woodfin is close behind in 3rd at 14%, Patricia Bell at 6%, and Randy Davis had 4% in voter support.
Mayor Bell also enjoys a higher job approval rating than the city council among Birmingham voters in this poll, with 57% saying Bell is doing an "excellent" or "good job," while only 34% give the city council the same rating.
Bell responded to the results of our poll with the following comments:
"What I take away from the poll is the order of finish," says Political analyst and Birmingham Southern College professor Dr. Natalie Davis, who conducted the poll.
"I don't think I would bet the barn on the actual numbers because there is a large margin of error in this kind of poll, you don't know who's going to vote, and because the dynamics of get out the vote are hard to measure."
Dr. Davis says while Mayor Bell may be heartened by his job approval rating and lead over other mayoral candidates, "I don't think it's insurmountable. I think if it goes to a runoff, then all bets are off. Also, while it's not a special election, these elections don't draw the voters that would be a typical November election, so turnout becomes the key. We've been down this road with mayor bell before. When he had to go to a runoff he had 48% of the vote and lost. So he probably is well aware he probably needs to win it the first time around."
Chris Woods is disputing the poll numbers and the sample size, but issued the following statement after hearing the results of our poll:
Woods says he has conducted polling in contrast to the results, but has not released that information.
Randal Woodfin had the following to say:
The poll conducted between July 28 and 31 reached 214 registered voters in Birmingham with a margin of error of 5-7% and a 90% certainty.