New poll says Kenney has big lead in primary

Jim Kenney addresses a townhall meeting in the Northeast. Residents gathered to ask Kenney questions about their community concerns. (Maria S. Young)

Mayor Jim Kenney has a big lead in the Democratic primary, according to a poll commissioned by his union supporters.

Building a Better Pennsylvania Fund, a building trades political action committee, hired Global Strategy Group for the poll.

Kenney, seeking a second term, has an approval rating of 78 percent among Democrats. White Democrats approve of him, 69 percent to 29 percent. Blacks approve of him, 84 percent to 13 percent.

In a hypothetical three-way race, he leads with 58 percent, followed by state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams with 16 percent and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz with 8 percent.

The top issue among Democrats is education, and they approve of Kenney’s performance in that area by 56 percent to 38 percent.

Butkovitz has announced his candidacy. Williams, who finished a distant second to Kenney in the 2015 primary, has not made a final decision on a second campaign.

On the Republican side, South Philadelphia lawyer Billy Ciancaglini has announced his candidacy. Ward leader and party activist Daphne Goggins was scheduled to announce her candidacy Tuesday night, after the Times went to press.

Global Strategy Group surveyed 500 likely Democratic primary voters from Jan. 9-13. ••