Only 34 percent of District residents have a favorable impression of Gray, down from 46 percent in May 2011. Fifty-six percent view him unfavorably. Furthermore, only 22 percent say he is "honest and trustworthy" (61 percent say he is not), and just a quarter say he is running an ethical administration (63 percent disagree).
Roughly seven-in-ten D.C. residents say they are following stories related to campaign finance violations committed by the Gray camp in 2010 -- along with the arrests, guilty pleas and resignations of former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown and former Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. Following a series of questions about corruption in the District and whether Gray, Brown and Thomas have been fairly or unfairly investigated by federal authorities, pollsters ask if, considering anything, the District would be better off or worse off if Gray were not the mayor. Just 5 percent think D.C. would be worse off without Gray, while 44 percent say it would be better off had he not taken office. Another 44 percent say things would be about the same.
Pollsters then asked if Gray should step down, with 54 percent of respondents saying that he should, compared to 37 percent who say he should not step down. That includes a stunning 48 percent of African Americans; Gray swept the District's overwhelmingly African American wards in the racially polarized 2010 primary.
Three councilmembers have called on Gray to step down, but the mayor has steadfastly refused. Other members of the council and District officials have stopped short of calling for Gray's resignation, but they have urged him to come clean about what he knew of a more than $600,000 "shadow campaign" that aided his primary victory over Fenty. The U.S. attorney for the District has obtained guilty pleas from three individuals for their role in raising and spending funds outside of legal parameters for D.C. political campaigns, but Gray has thus far declined to address the allegations publicly, though he has said he is cooperating with the continuing investigation.
The Washington Post poll was conducted July 15-17, surveying 1,002 adults in the District. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.