Mayoral Polling from Brown & Bailey: DeMaio, Filner in lead

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 23 Comments



Released by: Richard Bailey

Contact: Richard Bailey – 619.335.7315,

Election: 2012 Primary San Diego Mayor

Date: Sept 7th – Sept 10th 2011*

Sample Size: 945 likely voters** – 201 Cell phone users, 744 Landline users

Error: +/- 3.2%

There was no sponsor for the poll.

Results of 2012 Primary for San Diego Mayor Poll (readers may also view this info as a color attachment)

If the 2012 primary election for San Diego Mayor were today, which one of the following candidates would you vote for?

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, City Councilman Carl DeMaio, State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, Congressman Bob Filner or some other candidate? [Candidates name rotated]

Candidate Total # of Voters %
Carl DeMaio



Bob Filner



Bonnie Dumanis



Nathan Fletcher









Click on this link for detail on party registration of respondents.

An “undecided” option was not provided to respondents because of how the question was phrased.  If the election were held today respondents would not be able to check the “undecided” box.  The undecided option allows respondents to answer a question different than the one asked.

Disclosure:  Richard Bailey is a contributor and supporter of Carl DeMaio.  The respondents were selected by two other members of Brown & Bailey with no ties to any of the candidates.  We welcome any questions regarding the poll and also suggestions for future polls to be released on topics of interest to Rostra readers.

For more information regarding this survey and/or the demographics of respondents, please contact Richard Bailey.

Brown & Bailey provides data analysis and spatial mapping to political organizations and businesses.  To learn more about the services offered please visit   

*Original survey date was selected from Sept 7 – Sept 9.  Due to the countywide blackout the survey required an additional day of research to receive the desired number of respondents

**Likely voters are defined as those respondents that self-identified as “likely” to vote in the 2012 Mayoral Primary and participated in past elections. Newly registered voters that self-identified as likely to vote were also included.

***Independent voters for the purposes of this survey are considered all respondents not registered with either the Republican or Democrat parties

View this info and additional details as a color attachment


Comments 23

  1. Fox’s local morning news reported on this today around 8AM. No mention of SD Rostra.

    Good work Richard Bailey!

  2. Looks generally solid – or at least as solid as the Vargas/Ducheny match up…..

    And not to steal the thread but….;-)

    Is the party thinking about its strategy in places like the South Bay Congressional District under the new open primary? I am not a huge fan of DD but compared to Vargas’s latest turn as a labor lackey she is a rock ribbed conservative. It would be “strange” but I would hope that the party is actively thinking about in a strategic fashion what to do in races like Vargas/Ducheny both today and in the future. Now admittedly the problem is that what promises could one get that really matter? Not sure and skeptical. But I do know that Tony K. is likely to find himself on speed dial for several open districts with overwhelming D registration edges.

  3. I don’t know much about polling, so I’m not questioning the tactics used, but my gut says these numbers are more than 3% off. Nathan Fletcher raised a lot of money to make me think he has more than 10%. Bob Filner is the only Democrat, he seems likely to get at least 33% of the votes.

    This isn’t a knock on the pollster’s work, as I don’t know enough, just me commenting on the results.

    We shall see…

  4. Post

    Wow, a media entity referenced this poll, which was exclusively posted here, and gave no credit to Rostra?! Who’da ever thunk it?!

  5. To Skeptical –

    Included in the link (but not the post) is the breakdown in votes by party identification which helps answer why Filner did not receive greater than 28% support. DeMaio and Dumanis both received support of 19% and 20% respectively of registered Democrats while Filner received support from just a small portion of Republicans.


  6. Skeptical – Your statement assumes $ = electoral support. Any correlation between these two is flimsy at best.

  7. This poll is about as usefull as the Iowa Straw poll. To early and irrelivant.

    I’m interested to see polls once Bonnie drops out, the fait of CPR is determined and NF/ CD start spending their money. Until then, nothing matters but raising dough.

  8. Anyone who is familiar with polling knows that omitting the standard ‘undecided’ option is highly problematic. It forces a responder who may be undecided to choose, automatically favoring those candidates who they may have only heard about. Candidates with higher name recognition would obviously benefit.

    All this poll shows is what we already know to be true — Filner and DeMaio have a higher name rec than the other candidates. Similarly, timing plays a key role. Polls conducted this early simply reflect name identification.

    Early polls are notoriously poor predictors of election results, once voters become familiar with all the candidates. Think of it: who in New York knew about Bob Turner 2 months ago? 6 months ago?

    The dynamics of the mayoral race can and will change.

  9. echo on what Polly Poller (what a convenient name for someone talking about polls!) said.

    eliminating “undecided” in a poll for an election that is nine months away doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  10. One ironclad rule of early polling — the losers are adamant that the results mean nothing.

    Certainly it is just a point in time poll, with much to happen between now and next June. Things can change, and indeed, WILL change — to an unknown degree.

    One other point — this poll is FAR better than the Iowa straw vote. The Iowa contest about the hokiest candidate picking method one can think of.

  11. Vidosic & Polly Poller –

    I appreciate your concerns and believe the critiques made to be fair. The release does explain our rationale for not allowing an “undecided” option.

    Polly Poller is completely right that “undecided”s will break for the persons with the greatest name ID and I would agree that does tend to benefit DeMaio and Filner. I would contend however that Dumanis enjoys significant name id as well and did not receive the same bump that DeMaio and Filner had relative to the SuveryUSA numbers. Does this indicate that those who were undecided in SurveyUSA’s poll are more likely to run to their right or left rather than the middle? Time will tell.

    Brown & Bailey will conduct a similar poll of likely voters in early February 2012 and release each candidates’ strength of support and who they would vote for if the election were held that day (one question would allow an undecided option and one would force voters to choose).

    Additional input/ suggestions for future polls are welcome.


  12. Post

    Chevy, you mean such as District Attorney, City Councilman, State Assemblyman, and Congressman, like the poll included? Do you think that any of the respective candidates will use other than those titles? Community Organizer, maybe?

  13. Whoops. Missed that.

    But, it does bring up an interesting question. Will all the candidates use the assumed ballot designation or will they mix it up. Will DeMaio choose tax fighter instead of Councilmember to avoid the apearance of being a governmental insider?

  14. Chevy, by election time, anyone who doesn’t know that Carl DeMaio is a San Diego City Council critter should not be allowed within 100 feet of any polling booth. Fortunately they’d be too dumb to vote by mail.

  15. Michael: Thanks for that info. So now wondering how an interviewer handled a respondent who is undecided. . . Did they force them to pick a candidate, put them into the “other” category or end the interview?

  16. @ Still Wondering

    Sorry for not responding sooner. The question was essentially repeated – the only difference was increased clarification that the objective of the survey was to measure voter intent if the election were held today.

    For additional questions please email me at


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