Voters give Ravenstahl 'surprising' approval
Nearly half of likely voters approve of the job Mayor Luke Ravenstahl does, despite an FBI investigation of the city's police bureau, a Tribune-Review poll found.
Susquehanna Polling & Research in Harrisburg, which conducted the poll April 1 and 2, said 46 percent of respondents approved of Ravenstahl's job performance. Forty-five percent did not approve, and 9 percent were undecided.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
“It's very surprising,” said Mike Mikus, a Democratic strategist. “I think the fact that he left the race probably built a lot of goodwill from the average citizen. Because of all the scrutiny, it was almost a rallying effect, really, where everybody is feeling bad for the guy.
“Quite honestly, that's the only way I can explain it.”
A Trib poll in 2004, by comparison, found that only 10 percent of likely voters believed former Mayor Tom Murphy deserved re-election. Murphy of the North Side left office in 2005 after deciding not to run again.
Ravenstahl, 33, of Summer Hill dropped out of the mayor's race on March 1, 11 days after declaring his intention to run, saying the demands of the job and constant media attention negatively affected his life and family.
Ravenstahl has rarely appeared in public since quitting the race. He took office in 2006.
Pollsters found that 49 percent of respondents think the city is moving in the right direction. Thirty-two percent believe it's on the wrong track; 19 percent were undecided.
“Mayor Ravenstahl has worked tirelessly to put the City of Pittsburgh on the right path,” spokeswoman Marissa Doyle wrote in an email. “We're pleased to see that the residents of Pittsburgh recognize these efforts and agree that our city is positioned for continued success.”
Moe Coleman, director emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh's Institute of Politics, said Ravenstahl's approval rating likely is tied to the perception about the city's future.
“I suspect most people don't really know what (Ravenstahl) does in the city, and the city looks pretty good,” Coleman said. “It's got good comment nationally, the unemployment rate is pretty low, we've got development going on, and we've got younger people coming in.
“If the city's going in the right direction, the mayor gets credit for that.”
City Councilman Ricky Burgess, a fervent supporter of the mayor, noted that under Ravenstahl, the city drew national and international acclaim by hosting the Group of 20 economic summit and revitalized East Liberty on the strength of development such as Bakery Square.
“All those things have helped bring the image of Pittsburgh of a smoky steel town to sort of a chic, diverse city,” Burgess said.
City Councilman Corey O'Connor said there are two sides to Ravenstahl.
“Obviously, he has his own personal issues going on right now, and it's not a good situation,” O'Connor said. “The reason his numbers are so high is because we're getting so much national recognition.”
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 10 of Jon Stewart’s highlights from ‘The Daily Show’
- U.S. asks Supreme Court to reinstate convictions of portfolio managers who won on appeal
- Man wounded in Marshall-Shadeland shooting
- Facebook ready to test giant drone
- Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
- Roundup: Shell to cut jobs to cope with prolonged period of cheap oil; U.S. Corrugated building $43.5M plant in California; more
- Economy’s 2Q best since last year
- Home rental prices jumped again in June
- Mon Valley school districts wait out budget impasse
- Oakmont businessman valued golf, community
- Equestrian coach inspired with skill, dedication