By Focus Staff
Political parties aren’t popular with the people of Knoxville and Knox County.
That’s the message from the result of the latest poll conducted by The Knoxville Focus. Voters were asked, “In your opinion, should local elections be partisan or nonpartisan?”
The results were a resounding and overwhelming vote in favor of nonpartisan local elections, a result that surprised many, not the least of which was Focus publisher Steve Hunley.
“Oh, yes, I was really surprised,” Hunley admitted. “I thought nonpartisan elections would be popular inside the City of Knoxville, but I really didn’t expect the county folks to be in favor of nonpartisan elections for local offices.”
Once again, voters in every demographic favored nonpartisan local elections. Three quarters of young voters preferred nonpartisan elections and interestingly older voters of 65+ favored nonpartisan elections by a similar margin. Women and men both support nonpartisan elections by almost identical majorities.
South Knoxville registered the strongest support in favor of electing offices on a nonpartisan basis with a whopping 77% in favor of nonpartisan elections. The Fourth and Second Commission districts posted majorities in excess of 70% as well. The majority in favor of nonpartisan local elections was in excess of 60% in every Commission district across the county.
The Knox County Republican Party recently held its Lincoln Day Dinner, the premier political event for the local GOP and attendees commented on the sparse crowd. Some thought there were no more than 200 people at Lincoln Day an event which not so long ago easily attracted an audience of 1200 – 1500 people. So small a crowd in a presidential election year and an event headlined by a sitting United States senator is indicative of people tiring of something.
While Democrats might be heartened by people moving away from the GOP, these results from The Focus poll shouldn’t cheer them up too much. There is every indication Democrats will take a beating in Tennessee this year.
Still, it looks like Independent’s Day is coming and soon.