BUFFALO, N.Y. - There's a sight not often seen in Buffalo in downtown Buffalo- construction cranes.
All of the progress at the Inner Harbor that may reflect why a key number in our 2 On Your Side, Buffalo News, Siena College poll holds such good news for the mayor:
65% percent of people say the city is on the right track, only 27% believe it's on the wrong track.
Channel 2 Political Analyst Carl Calabrese: "If you're the incumbent mayor, one of the first things you're going to look at (is the question of) do you think the city's headed in the right track or wrong track. The mayor's got almost two thirds positive there, the city's headed in the right direction - that's a very important number, his popularity numbers are high."
Calbrese is right the mayor's favorability rating almost mirrors that right track number at 66%, 55% of city Democrats say he should be re-elected, and 54% approve of his job performance.
Anytime an incumbent is above 50% in those categories he's in a strong position.
Overall, the mayor is leading Tolbert among Democrats 60%-26%.
However the numbers weren't all good for the mayor.
Issues of vulnerability include the fact that just 26% of Democrats feel the city is responsive to residents' needs, only 14% percent believe they can find suitable employment, and just 11% feel that city schools are good or excellent.
Siena Pollster Steve Greenberg: "There are areas where Mr. Tolbert can potentially make some inroads against Mayor Brown. Voters have some issues where they think the city is not doing well, is not meeting their needs, yet despite that they feel good about the overall direction of the city and they feel good about Mayor Brown."
And to make voters feel badly about Mayor Brown, Tolbert needs to really dial up the intensity of his campaign and exploit those issues our poll showed the mayor is weak on.
Scott Brown: "Tolbert has been criticized for not being aggressive enough, do you think that's a fair criticism?"
Carl Calabrese: "Yeah I do. If you're the mayor you gotta love it. Everyday your opponent is not on television, is not on radio, is not having a press conference in front of City Hall, meeting with some neighborhood group, then everyday is to your advantage now that we're almost to the fourth of July."