New Mayoral Race

ATLANTA (CBS46) — There appears to be a new front-runner in the race to become Atlanta's next mayor.

In a new survey released by the University of Georgia's School of Public & International Affairs, Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore has taken the lead over former mayor Kasim Reed.

The data, which was released as part of a comprehensive election survey for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, asks likely voters in the City of Atlanta who they plan to vote for on Nov. 2.

The survey shows Moore leading with 23.8 percent of the vote, followed by Reed at 20.4 percent. Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens garnered 6.2 percent of the vote, followed by attorney Sharon Gay at 4.3 percent and Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown with 2.4 percent.

The new survey shows a slight change in voter preference from the last poll released by UGA on Sept. 13. The previous data showed Reed with 23.5 percent and Moore at 20.4 percent. Despite the change, surveyors say Moore and Reed are statistically tied due to the margin of error.

There could still be drastic change before Election Day, as 41.4 percent of respondents say they remain undecided on their choice for mayor.

However, despite the new polling data, Moore, Reed, or any other candidate will have to receive more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day in order to avoid a run-off. If no candidate gets to the 50 percent threshold, the top two candidates will go to a run-off election on Nov. 30.

Voters were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable feeling toward each of the candidates. Reed was the only candidate to receive an unfavorable score over 14 percent, with 49.8 percent of likely voters having an unfavorable impression of the former mayor of Atlanta.

RELATED: Vote by NAACP Atlanta to reject Kasim Reed was unanimous

The survey dove into several other issues influencing likely voters. Surveyors asked respondents what the most pressing issue the City of Atlanta faces heading into the election. Unsurprisingly, crime topped that list at nearly 48 percent. Affordable housing was next with 26 percent, followed by income inequality at more than 8 percent.

More than 48 percent of likely voters believe the city is headed in the wrong direction, with only a third confident in the city's path. Only 19 percent of respondents think the city is on the right track in terms of dealing with crime. More than 61 percent say they are afraid to walk alone at night within a mile of their home.

RELATED: Crime at the center of Atlanta mayor's race as voting begins

On a more positive note, 59 percent of likely voters believe the city is moving in the right direction in terms of managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Just more than a quarter of respondents disagreed.

Respondents were also asked multiple questions about Buckhead, and the possibility of it seceding from the City of Atlanta and becoming its own city. Nearly 47 percent of likely voters say they "strongly oppose" the effort while fewer than 16 percent "strongly support" it.

They were also asked to pick what they believe is the primary motivation behind the effort to secede, with more than 34 percent of voters choosing crime. 21 percent of voters said race was the primary factor.

CBS46 has comprehensive coverage of the Atlanta mayor race. You can find one-on-one interviews with the top 5 candidates on our special report page.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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