Memphis voters are more than 2 to 1 in favor of consolidating Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.
When asked their view of transferring Memphis City Schools to Shelby County Schools:
— 56.2% said they are for it;
— 26.2% said they are against it;
— 17.6% are undecided.
But because of the unique nature of referendum votes, it’s still a competitive race that will turn on which side gets out the vote, said Brian Stephens of Caissa Public Strategy, which directed the poll. He said that in referendum votes, campaigners in favor of dissolving the charter of Memphis City Schools can only count on people who say they are strongly for.
Those who say they are somewhat for still have a question and cannot be counted on to vote yes. 41.6% of Memphians said they are strongly for and 17.2% are strongly against.
Support by age groups were:
— 58.2% — Under 45 years old
— 59.9% — 45-64 years old
— 50.0% — Over 65 years old
Meanwhile, men favor charter surrender more than women by 60% to 53.9%.
Finally, whites support merger of the districts more than African-Americans. Among Caucasians, 65% are for merger and 22.9% are against, while among African-Americans, 50.2% are for merger and 28.1% are opposed.
The polling results come from 500 Memphians (a sampling error of 4.3%) who said they would vote in the March 8 referendum.
As Mr. Stephens points out, voter turnout in Memphis has been low even when the ballot is loaded with races, so most of all, the outcome of this referendum hinges largely on which side turns out to vote and which side has the best voter turnout plan.
To see summary slides, click here.