Publicola got a copy of the results of retiring city council member Jan Drago's robo-poll, and things look pretty damn good for a Drago run: the veteran council member beats unpopular mayor Greg Nickels in a side-by-side lineup 45 to 24. Other interesting stats from the poll: 70 percent of voters have a negative impression of Nickels; just 23 percent approve of him; and if the election were held today, just 15 percent would vote to reelect him. Nickels's unpopularity, combined with the fact that Drago would be the only well-known woman in a mayoral field that currently includes five men (the other woman in the race, pro-viaduct activist Dorli Rainey, is a political unknown) will make Drago a formidable opponent if she runs.
UPDATE: Nickels's campaign spokesman, Sandeep Kaushik, responds, pointing out that Drago only gave Josh a partial list of poll responses (responses that didn't include, for example, a head-to-head lineup between all seven candidates). Kaushik also points out that the numbers above refer to the "informed horse race"—that is, responses voters gave after receiving positive information about Drago, such as the fact that she would be the first female mayor in 80 years, the fact that she pushed for dog parks, and the fact that she has served on the city council for 16 years. Personally, I'm not convinced that those factors matter all that much; the fact that she's a woman is obvious; many of the details about her long political career are widely known; and her "anybody-but-Nickels" is evident in Nickels's low approval ratings. Yes, other candidates might be able to beat him, too, but Drago has at least a small leg up—in the form, as mentioned above, of experience, name recognition, and gender.