Breaking: Internal Dumanis polling … and the results in perspective

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 8 Comments


Following our breaking news post of a couple of days ago showing local Democratic Party survey numbers in the race for San Diego mayor (quickly dubbed the “Bob Filner poll”), SD Rostra has obtained additional internal polling results conducted for Bonnie Dumanis.

The survey, completed more than a month ago by Dumanis pollster The Tarrance Group, notes that the “battle for the top two positions in the primary election for Mayor is a three way race between Dumanis, DeMaio, and Filner”…

Thirty percent (30%) of San Diego primary voters indicate they would vote for Bob Filner, while twenty-six percent (26%) indicate they would vote for Carl DeMaio, and twenty-two percent (22%) indicate that they would vote for Bonnie Dumanis.  Nathan Fletcher is down at the bottom with only 14% of the vote, and there are only 7% of San Diego primary voters who remain undecided.

Read the document here.

It should clearly be noted, however, that both the Filner poll and this Dumanis document are over a month old. So, let’s put the last three polls in perspective, in order from oldest to most recent (including some more recent Competitive Edge results)…

Tarrance Group for Bonnie Dumanis — Feb. 14-15:

Filner – 30

DeMaio – 26

Dumanis – 22

Fletcher – 14

Undecided – 7

Democratic Party/Bob Filner — Feb. 15-21:

Filner – 27

DeMaio – 26

Fletcher – 20

Dumanis – 12

Undecided – 15

Competitive Edge (Released by Republican Party) — March 1-4:

DeMaio – 25

Filner – 20

Fletcher – 11

Dumanis – 11

Undecided – 32

Read what you want from any of this. The only comment from us … Does anyone really believe only seven percent of voters were undecided in mid-February? How about 15 percent?


Comments 8

  1. Nathan Fletcher touts polls here and there when they show him in third place rather then last, but if he’s so confident why doesn’t he put out his own numbers? Probably because they’re not good.

    One thing is consistent with all these polls: DeMaio and Filner are fighting for 1st; Dumanis and Fletcher are fighting for 3rd. No poll to date has shown anything else.

  2. Right. So this confirms Fletcher is surging.

    Also DeMaio clearly has a ceiling. And he’s hit it.

  3. It’s difficult to believe, even in March, that there are only 32% undecided voters in the Mayoral race. Since John Neinstedt’s numbers are the most reliable, let’s use his for an example.

    The poll’s margin of error was 4%. I’m going to give that 4% to undecided voters. Therefore, it stands to reason that one, two or all of the candidates numbers will drop by up to 4%.

    However, there is no way to determine – absent going into the crosstabs to look for trends – which candidate will lose a percentage of the vote and by what percentage.

    For your consideration, allowing for 36% of voters being undecided, which is much more likely at this point in the campaign, following is the possible span of the distribution of the -4% of voters remaining after awarding that percentage to the undecideds:

    DeMaio 21% – 25%

    Filner 16% – 20%

    Fletcher 7% – 11%

    Dumanis 7% – 11%

    Undecided 36%

    This means that DeMaio could only have a 1% lead over Filner. More likely, it means that DeMaio is slightly in the lead, with up to 3% leaning in his direction.

    What it certainly shows is that either Fletcher or Dumanis could pull close to Filner by June and it will be a two- or even (though unlikely) three-way race for second place.

    Depending on whether Filner finds the money to get out the Democratic vote on his behalf and whether the combination of a strong message, a personable candidate and the likely expenditure of substantial funds by a “Super Committee” on Fletcher’s behalf, either candidate has a shot a taking on DeMaio in the fall.

    Then, the question becomes whether DeMaio can expand his base to win in November.

  4. Post

    Chris, thanks for the great analysis. We were hesitant in saying Nienstedt’s numbers are the most reliable, lest the natural reaction would be, “There Rostra goes — touting the GOP poll as the most accurate.” So, we are glad you provided your take on Competive Edge’s reliability. Thanks, please comment anytime.

  5. Reminds me of the polling before the 2005 special election, showing Donna Frye “winning” the primary — which she did handily (a plurality, not a majority). But then most of the voters for the four main “also rans” (all fiscal conservatives and mostly Republicans) voted in November for their second choice — Jerry Sanders.

    Expect the same results in this race — except that there is a very good chance that a Republican will win the primary plurality before he sweeps into office in November. HINT: Not Fletcher or Dumanis.

  6. A friend noted on Facebook, “I like campaigns but not polls. The campaigns are noble in their own way, like a craft is. But the polls are now more like hammer blows than just ‘predictions.’ They used to be predictions, right? Now they look like sentence rulings or something. Intrusive polls.”

    My response: “Polls, predictions? For the media, perhaps. No, scientifically, they guide candidates, campaigns and operatives in how to proceed with messaging, targeting and operations from that point forward.”

  7. Polls, as a pollster once told me, are “a snapshot in time.” A picture of the situation that exists during the period the poll was fielded. It’s not a movie that projects an outcome, as it cannot possibly take into account the myriad factors the can, and will, effect voter behavior between now and the election. What each candidate takes from the poll and how they (or, their consultants) decide to adjust tactics, messaging and targeting from that point forward is what will determine the election outcome. Beginning in late April and into May, we will begin to see tracking polling, which will be an indicator as to whether the candidates took heed of this poll and made adjustments accordingly. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and much can happen between now and June 5th.

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