As we have often explained, internal polls made public by candidates should be taken with a great deal of salt – given that they are often used to pry campaign cash out of the hands of skeptical contributors.
On the other hand, surveys of this nature can also be legitimate guides that explain a candidate’s approach to the contest – and allow that candidate to publicly prioritize any rivals.
This afternoon, we received a polling memo generated by Melvin Mitchell’s campaign for DeKalb County sheriff. The automated survey, conducted among 1,524 likely voters on April 13 and 14, has a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.
The poll focuses only on three of the eight candidates. Not surprisingly, the survey puts Mitchell – a sergeant with the Atlanta Police Department — in the lead, with 38 percent. Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones polled 32.4 percent. Jeff Mann, who served as chief deputy under Sheriff Tom Brown and is now interim sheriff, came in at 24 percent.
Read the memo yourself here:
One important thing to keep in mind: While this vote will be held on May 20, it is not a primary contest. Brown, who resigned to challenge U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, still had two years left in his term. So his replacement will be filled by a special, nonpartisan election – and a likely runoff.
While all eight candidates on the ballot are Democrats, DeKalb Republicans will be voting in this contest as well. Which would explain Jones’ 32.4 percent mark.