Survey USA Poll Good News for DeMaio, Faulconer

Aynd RandAynd Rand 9 Comments


So Channel 10 and UT San Diego paid for a Survey USA robo poll on possible mayoral contenders.

It shows a statistical dead heat between Carl DeMaio and Nathan Fletcher. Full poll link below.

Some observations

Poll Understates DeMaio Strength with Special Election Voters

It is widely known that the SurveyUSA poll over-samples voters – going with registered voters versus “likely” or “reliable” voters. SurveyUSA’s method tends to be more accurate when you are talking high turnout elections, such as the Presidential race. But it’s accuracy for Special Elections is much lower.

In this poll, Survey USA assumes nearly 80% turnout – versus the 40-42% turnout that a Special Election would produce. (For example, the 2005 Special Election with Sanders vs. Frye produced a 42% turnout.)

Fletcher wins only in the younger voter category – which SurveyUSA pegs at a laughable 30% of turnout.  In Special Elections, the younger voter category won’t break 18-20%.  In contrast, Special Elections tend to see high turnout with older, whiter voters.

Where is Carl DeMaio the strongest? Older, whiter voters.

Don’t Count Faulconer Out

What if DeMaio doesn’t run?  Do we by default get Fletcher as Mayor?  Again, not so fast.

The poll must be taken in the context of the previous SurveyUSA poll last week, showing Faulconer’s name ID pretty low.  Looking at the numbers, Faulconer could grow his vote share relatively quickly among Republicans – where he currently is losing to Fletcher.

Fletcher’s party switch to Democrat is hardly known outside the City Hall bubble of insiders.  Once reliable Republican voters get informed through mailer after mailer about Fletcher’s new loyalties (complete with pictures and quotes) support should shift to Faulconer.

Don’t Assume Fletcher Makes It to the Runoff

One of the big flaws in this poll is SurveyUSA assumes only two candidates in the match-up, whereas in a special election a bunch of candidates will likely run before two finalists face off in a runoff.

If DeMaio runs, there’s no chance Faulconer makes it to the runoff.  And with no other credible Republican in the race, you can make a pretty good argument that DeMaio locks down his spot in the runoff easily.  Conversely, if DeMaio does not run, Faulconer’s best play is to get DeMaio’s endorsement right out of the gate.  If he does, there’s a good chance Faulconer can secure his spot in the runoff.

But the Democrats face a mess.

SurveyUSA did not test the most likely Democratic candidate: former Senator Christine Kehoe.  Kehoe by all accounts has been making the rounds indicating she will not step aside for the new-kid-on-the-block Fletcher.

Many true-blue progressive activists within the Democratic Party also resist any coronation of Nathan Fletcher and insist on having a true progressive as their candidate.

Unless Fletcher backs out of the race and everyone unites behind Kehoe, you can all-but-guarantee a split race between two Democrats. Fletcher vs. Kehoe. Or at least Fletcher vs. Saldana.



Comments 9

  1. As a labor union boss running in a special election, Lorena would get SLAUGHTERED. BIG negative with likely voters. Pushed hard for Prop A, the sales tax increase.

    Lorena wisely went to gerrymandered Dem district for easy win.

  2. Slaughtered like 1.57%-of-the-vote slaughtered, Richard? Maybe not. If you haven’t noticed, she has become the de facto leader of the Dems over the last year. If she gets in, it’s tough to see who could beat her for party endorsement, putting her on the fast track to a runoff. Be careful in underestimating the “clever girl,” as she’s now known on Twitter.

  3. With the general public becoming more cynical about politics in general. I sense the party may underestimate how many republican voters who voted for fletcher will simply shrug when they learn about his party switch. That is if he campaigns from the center and not moves too far left.

    Also I am curious on how the national republican party feels about demaio possibly running for mayor.

  4. Joe the small business owner,
    How more far left can Fletcher go? I’m waiting him to announce he has become a Marxist and state “I always felt like I was a Marxist”

  5. Well, Jefferson, we finally have something in common — both you AND I both fervently hope that Lorena Gonzalez is the Democrat Party (nonpartisan) standard bearer in the upcoming mayoral election.

    In a non-Presidential election.

    Better yet, in a SPECIAL election.

    Ready to abandon her newly-won Assembly seat (costing taxpayers for two MORE special elections).

    Touting her SD city Prop A sales tax increase.

    Yeah, that’s a winning platform.

    Oh yeah, you go, girl! Run, Lorena, RUN!!

  6. BTW, Jefferson, it now turns out that the Prop A city sales tax increase was never needed in the first place. But then, you and I knew that from the get-go, didn’t we?

    Oh I SO much look forward to Lorena defending that sales tax prop. And promising not to back another one once mayor.

    Oh YES, Lorena. DO run for mayor. PLEEAAAASSSSEEEEEEE.

  7. So according to this poll, Fletcher basically owns this race against any candidate except the guy that the national party has targeted to take out a Dem incumbent in one of the nation’s most competitive districts.

    Well now that certainly creates some interesting dilemmas doesn’t it? I wonder how well Faulconer stacks up against Peters.

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