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Veteran election campaigner Judy Wasylycia-Leis said she's not troubled by a new poll that shows Brian Bowman has edged past her in Winnipeg's mayoral race.
"I always knew it was going to be a competitive race and I've run like I was two votes behind from day one and I'm still doing that today," Wasylycia-Leis said Monday from the front steps of her North End home.
The Insightrix poll shows Bowman leading the mayoral race for the first time, with 38 per cent support. Wasylycia-Leis has dropped to second, with 36 per cent of the decided vote.
In a surprise outcome, political newcomer Robert-Falcon Ouellette has climbed to third, with 14 per cent support; while former councillor Gord Steeves has fallen to fourth, with nine per cent support.
Voters go to the polls on Wednesday.
Wasylycia-Leis said she's presented a straightforward, fully costed platform during the past five months to fix city hall and fix the city's ailing infrastructure.
Wasylycia-Leis said she always believed Bowman would be her toughest opponent.
"I've worked very hard to contrast and compare my policies to (Bowman's) and I believe Winnipeggers now know the clear choices to them."
If the Insightrix poll is accurate, it reveals a massive surge in support for Bowman in less than three weeks, since a Free Press/CTV Winnipeg poll by Probe Research showed Wasylycia-Leis with 41 per cent support of decided voters and Bowman trailing at 23 per cent.
The Insightrix poll indicates an "anyone but Judy" mood has gripped certain parts of Winnipeg, with support for Steeves, and the other, minor, candidates — David Sanders, Paula Havixbeck, Michel Fillion — fleeing to Bowman; and some of Wasylycia-Leis' support drifting to Ouellette.
Bowman said he was excited with the Insightrix poll, adding it reflected what his team has been witnessing over the past few weeks.
"Our eyes have been bugging out for the last few weeks," Bowman said about his growing support. "We've been saying from day one that the choice in this election comes down to whether Winnipeggers want to elect the same old style of politics, someone's who's been around for decades or they want an experienced leader with a clear vision and a solid plan to move Winnipeg forward."
Bowman said it's still too early to celebrate and much work remains before election day.
"We're not patting ourselves on the back or cracking champagne, because we have not won the election," Bowman said.
The poll results were met with skepticism by Steeves and Sanders, who both said the results aren't indicative of what they've been seeing on the campaign.
For Sanders, Insightrix said his following has almost disappeared — now with the support of one per cent of decided voters, down from five per cent in the Probe poll on Oct. 1.
Wasylycia-Leis, the veteran New Democrat MLA and MP, said she's been involved in 14 previous election campaigns and is not troubled by the latest poll findings.
The reversal in poll standings, she said, has motivated her volunteers, who showed up in large numbers Monday morning.
"This is the time to get out our vote and reinforce our message... and get ready for election day."
The poll was done for Global News and CJOB. It involved 802 people polled by phone between Oct. 7 and 17. The margin of error is equal to 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 6:27 AM CDT: Adds photo