Poll: DeMaio Takes Early Lead in Race for Mayor

Vince Vasquez Vince Vasquez 18 Comments

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A new SurveyUSA poll reveals Councilmember Carl DeMaio has taken an early lead in the race for Mayor of San Diego.

In a poll that surveyed 538 registered city voters, DeMaio leads the growing pack of candidates with 22% of the vote. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who announced her candidacy in March, comes in second place at 15%, and Democratic Congressman Bob Filner trails in third at 14%. State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R), who announced his run for Mayor on Monday, polls in fifth place at 7% of the overall vote.

According to the poll, DeMaio commands the largest share of votes among Caucasians (26%) and Asian residents (21%). He’s also the favored candidate of Decline to State voters (28%), as well as those on the right. Among Republicans, conservatives and San Diegans who identify with the Tea Party, DeMaio dominates the vote at 33%, 31% and 44%, respectively. DeMaio is also the top vote-getter for San Diegans over 65 (28%).

Dumanis leads among female voters (21%), and Filner leads among African-Americans, Latinos, and voters under 35. State Senator Christine Kehoe, who is testing the waters for a future candidacy, leads among Democratic voters (21%).

My take: three must-watch voter segments for the June 2012 election are registered Republicans, voters over 65 years, and Caucasians. These high propensity voters have significant sway in the outcome of San Diego’s low turnout elections, like the June 2012 mayoral primary. All eyes should be on them in future polls.

SurveyUSA conducted the poll from June 6th-7th.

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Comments 18

  1. Thank you for finding this useful data, Vince!

    To reemphasize one of your key points…….the crosstabs show this to be anybody’s race among voters UNDER age 50 (DeMaio 18%, Dumanis 15%, Filner 14%, Kehoe 11%).

    Among voters OVER age 50 the picture changes (DeMaio 27%, Dumanis 16%, Filner 14%, Kehoe 13%)…….. So the clearly youngest major candidate (Carl DeMaio) does best among Older voters when matched against candidates with much longer political resumes……. contrarily, DeMaio does least well (8%) among voters under the age of 35.

    The complexity of the electorate’s reactions is a source of continuing interest to those of us who follow these trends closely.

  2. Dave,

    That stat about Filner votes who are Tea Party members isn’t especially startling. It’s the average for all surveyed. For DeMaio, the number is 44 percent, for Kehoe 6 percent.

    And one of the most prominent Tea Party leaders in San Diego is an admitted Democrat. Even some members of the Vast Libertarian Conspiracy are known to affiliate with the Tea Party.

    Those who think Tea Party is just another name for Republicans aren’t getting the whole picture.

  3. Over age 50 voters are the ones that turn out in primaries. In addition, District 5 skews older than many other parts of the city.

  4. Re: Tea Party — Not to mention that there is no “membership,” but instead those who claim agreement with the tenets, many of whom probably have little clue whether certain elected officials they recognize by name agree with those same tenets. Not to mention that.

  5. Luna? Why does anyone care about the opinion of those who teach political science, but have no real world experience doing it?

  6. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this poll.

    Remember, it is a SURVEY USA poll, and they polled REGISTERED VOTERS.

    Survey USA polls are notoriously bad (remember Whitman v. Poizner?). 2010 they put out bad polls left and right.

    Also polling registered voters is not an accurate sample, especially in a primary election.

    This poll doesn’t matter in any way shape or form. Polls don’t matter until 2012, and as it gets closer to election day.

    Right now, the most important numbers are coming on June 30.

  7. God bless Carl Luna but honestly. When you read his commentaries and writings it is pretty clear he is focused on meeting teaching requirements and not staying that current in the literature. As Erica, Barry J and I believe John D. pointed out this isn’t rocket science. In a lower turn out election it is going to be COMMITTED voters who turn out and ground game will be especially important. It isn’t clear at ALL that Gucci wearing lawyers strong armed into contributing to the DA are going to be out on Saturday morning walking Serra Mesa precincts for Bonnie. Moreover, never underestimate how hard it is to RUN for ANOTHER position when you are an EXECUTIVE of a public agency. Every day Bonnie is dealing with management issues in DA land (no summer recess for them) is a day not fundraising, making calls, meeting voters, etc. etc.

    I will take bets on her dropping out before Valentines day.

  8. Survey USA?, June 30th will be very telling but I believe the most important numbers we are all awaiting are the results of tomorrow’s Albondigas poll.

  9. Bonnie was totally dependent upon the labor unions for her first election against Pfingst. She hasn’t had a challenger since. Ditto for Filner and Kehoe. Fletcher had no opposition. Only Filner has been seriously tested in campaigns, and he won both times. Dumanis, Filner, Fletcher and Kehoe are all seeking the public employee labor unions’ endorsement, and yet it is the public employee labor unions who have functionally bankrupted the City. Who labor endorses of the four will be the most likely challenger against DeMaio in the runoff. Might it be Prop D all over again? Lorena, the members of the Labor Council, and everyone at labor’s altar are blinded by power, so they are not likely to avoid repeating history. I suspect this will be an incredibly nasty campaign of personal attacks, because four of the candidates represent status quo (i.e. advocate higher taxes, no reforms and cutting services).

  10. Two things

    1) Don’t conflate unions. Public safety’s historic importance dwarfts MEA and AFSCMEA. Indeed, if I am an opponent I WANT Lorena to endorse someone else. Please, go ahead. Especially if the Grocery people strike.

    2) We need more data but public safety hasn’t been pulling the juice it used to. From Prop D to George George to Howard Wayne the batting average of the post-Ron Satoff Public safety cabal is, well, well below the Mendoza-line. The value they have is those damm firefighter hat yard signs. And I think there is some distinct possibility, at least on Police, that they will stay out – not really liking the idea of being forced to either endorse the DA in a less than certain thing or NOT endorse the DA they will have to work with long into the future.

    Fire is a different beast. They are not big Carl fans so I would assume that they will be the main wedge in an “Any-one-but-Carl” effort. Be interesting how aggressive they are……I can imagine some truly over-the-top things that probably would backfire but would make for DAMM entertaining politics.

  11. Carl DeMaio drives issues. He is recognized as the person who will really make changes. Who else does offer fundamental change to the way things have been done in SD? Will the majority of actual voters be sympathetic to that come election time? Will the ideologically driven DeMaio prevail over just another establishment kick the can down the road type? If he can continue driving issues he can beat the good ol’ boys and girls.

  12. Although enthusiasm wasn’t polled, I would consider DeMaio the front runner on that basis. People that I know who are grass roots activists are excited about his campaign and ready to go all in.

  13. It’s sad that the press goes to Luna for his input because he is seen as an impartial academic analyst. Luna is the typical liberal professor who uses this forum to advance liberal causes and candidates — especially pro-labor candidates. Carl DeMaio is indeed the devil incarnate to Luna ET AL.

    Yes, the press comes to me for soundbites as well. But the difference is that NO ONE doubts my blatant pro-taxpayer, pro-freedom bias. The press makes that bias clear, as they should.

    But profs such as Luna get to hide their bias behind their degrees and positions — the press should do a better job of including their bias when professors are “consulted” for an opinion.

  14. BDaddy makes a good point. The ENTHUSIASM level for Carl makes his support even stronger. After all, how many are excited about Dumanis, or Fletcher, or the other mayoral candidates (aside from labor union members)?

    I’ll be holding a coffee for Carl this month, and I expect a large turnout (not the usual small coffee turnout usually seen at such events). At this event, doubtless checking accounts will be emptied to support his effort.

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