PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Mayor Luke Ravenstahl reaches his fifth anniversary as mayor, residents in the city of Pittsburgh give him low marks for job performance.
That’s according to Civic Science Inc., a local high-tech market research firm using software technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University.
“Empirically, his approval rating has hovered really around 19 to 20 percent which probably isn’t terribly flattering,” says John Dick, CEO of the company.
Dick says more than 27,000 people in the city, suburbs, and around the country have rated Ravenstahl.
In Pittsburgh, only 19 percent of city residents approve the mayor’s performance — with 48 percent disapproving — and 33 percent have no opinion.
Outside the city, 20 percent approve of Ravenstahl’s conduct — 45 percent disapprove — and 35 percent have no opinion.
Ravenstahl gets his best approval ratings from those who live more than a hundred miles from Pittsburgh.
Some 31 percent of those who don’t live nearby approve his work — 21 percent disapprove — and 48 percent have no opinion.
While Dick says Civic Science is not a political polling firm, his tech savvy employees have designed a research technique that he says guarantees results.
“We’ve done a lot of analysis, had a lot of academic papers written about our methodology, and found that we’re very good at sampling local community.”
Which is why, when pressed by KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano, Dick says he has no doubt about the numbers behind the community’s disapproval of Ravenstahl.
Delano: “Do you think these numbers are accurate?”
Delano: “No question about it?”
Dick: “No question about it. We’re staking our business on it.”
Civic Science says the mayor’s low approval ratings have been remarkably consistent over the last six months.
Whether accurate or not, these polls are just a snapshot of today, not a predictor of any future election.
And the good news for the mayor is that he is not on the ballot until the spring of 2013 — more than a lifetime in politics.