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Because D.C. voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the primary race is often considered a lock to win the November general election.

Among other findings in the poll:

  • Council member Kwame R. Brown leads former council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. in the race to succeed Mr. Gray as council chairman by a 49 percent to 39 percent margin.
  • Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee holds a 50 percent job approval rating and a 35 percent disapproval rating. While 79 percent of white respondents approve of her job performance, she has only 28 percent support among black respondents.
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents approved of the performance of the D.C. Council, compared with 22 percent who disapprove.
  • Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier is the city’s highest polling public official, with an 80 percent job-approval rating.

The poll of 501 Democratic voters was conducted Aug. 15 and 16. It was not sponsored or funded by any outside group.