Against Vincent Gray

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 victory benefited from $650,000 in unreported funds. As of yet, the mayor hasn't been directly tied to the effort, though members of his campaign have. But no doubt these numbers have him scared:


A majority of District residents say Mayor Vincent C. Gray should resign, according to a new Washington Post poll that reveals how deeply the continuing campaign corruption scandal has eroded the city's support for its mayor. 

Gray's support is dwindling even among his political base, with 48 percent of African Americans saying he should resign. Among those who say they voted for him in 2010, nearly four in 10 think that he should step down...

East of the Anacostia River, an area where 82 percent of voters preferred Gray in the 2010 Democratic primary, a plurality of residents now think he should step down, 48 percent to 43 percent.
The Anacostia numbers aren't very surprising to me. I always saw Gray as emblematic of that striver class of black bourgeois -- more Sharon Pratt Kelly, than Marion Barry. But Adrian Fenty was so hated that the line kind of disappeared. I don't even know if that matters much. East of Anacostia is only slightly more anti-Gray than rest of Washington's black population, and basically in line with the rest of an ostensibly divided city.

The point here is that Gray's base has crumbled beneath him. Nobody likes being embarrassed by the kind of scandal that's running through the mayor's office and the city council. There will be no appeal to race, either. Only 9 percent of black voters in D.C. think race is percent is a factor.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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