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Poll position

OKC residents give Mayor Mick Cornett a strong approval rating in an exclusive poll

Clifton Adcock January 18th, 2011

A recent poll shows a majority of Oklahoma City registered voters surveyed approve of Mayor Mick Cornett’s job performance. A majority of those polled had no opinion on the job performances of City Manager Jim Couch or their respective councilperson, although a majority approved of the job performance of the Oklahoma City Council as a whole.

The poll of 303 registered Oklahoma City voters was conducted by and sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette. The poll, which was conducted by live interviewers via telephone, was conducted from Dec. 27 to Dec. 29, 2010, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.26 percent.

According to the data, respondents across the political spectrum — ranging from very liberal to very conservative — gave Cornett high marks.

“I don’t agree with all his ideas, but he’s definitely got the city moving, and that’s a good thing in this day and age,” said poll respondent Garry Jackson.

Others cited Cornett’s leadership in the MAPS program.

“The MAPS projects that he’s wanted to put across have been done very well,” said respondent David Guild.

On Jan. 13, Cornett delivered his seventh State of the City address, which touted the accolades the city has received from several media comparisons of municipalities across the United States. He also spoke about the growth of the city’s sales tax collections over the past year and the work of various initiatives such as MAPS 3 and the strategic plan for reform at Oklahoma City Public Schools (see related story page 9).

Meanwhile, the data shows that across all political stripes, a majority had no opinion of Couch’s job performance, although those who did have an opinion on Couch’s performance mostly approved.

About the same percentage offering no opinion on Couch’s job performance (49.5 percent) also did not have an opinion on the job performance of the council member representing the ward they lived in (49.2).

Oklahoma City has a council/ city manager form of municipal government, meaning the city manager — appointed by the eight City Council members and the mayor but not elected — serves as the city’s chief administrative official. The mayor serves on the council and is elected at large.

I don’t know anything about Jim Couch.

—Vernon Smith

“I don’t know anything about him (Couch),” said respondent Vernon Smith, whose sentiment was echoed by other respondents.

“I don’t know him,” Guild said, also referring to Couch. “Nothing has gone awry that’s been reported.”

Although a high percentage of those surveyed also said they had no opinion of their individual council member’s job performance, a majority said they approved of the job the city’s main governing body was doing.

“I don’t think we would be moving forward if they weren’t working with him,” Jackson said, referring to Cornett. “If they were at odds with him, we would be in a stalemate as far as the city goes.”

Four of the eight City Council seats are coming up for election. Wards 2, 5, 6 and 8 are all up for grabs, and filing for the race runs from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31. The primary election is set for March 1 and, if needed, the general election will be held April 5.

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