Fletcher & DeMaio in a virtual dead heat in San Diego Mayor’s Race

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Two weeks can be an eternity in politics with ups and downs, twists and turns, and oftentimes weird and wonderful results.

A new Survey USA poll released Thursday shows that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has surged since his party switch on March 27th – he is in a virtual dead heat with front runner Carl DeMaio.

The overall poll shows that City Council Member Carl DeMaio gets 28% (up 3 from the previous poll).  Assemblyman Fletcher gets 26%, doubling his support from 13% in the previous poll done in September 2011.  At that time, Fletcher was in last place.

Congressman Bob Filner, the Democrat in the race who represents California’s 51st District, received 20%, down from 24%. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis received 13%, down a nominal point. 4% of likely voters said they will vote for another candidate, while 10% were undecided.

A Fletcher-DeMaio battle would be fascinating in the fall and test the value of party independence.  Both candidates are fiscally responsible.  Both have charisma.  DeMaio is the darling of ultra-right conservatives.  Fletcher, a war hero, proved his independence by switching party registration stating he was sick of playing games and wants to solve problems.  His proven track record in the state legislature will do him well as a proponent of jobs and innovation and the author of “Chelsea’s Law”.  DeMaio’s focuses on run-away pensions, rallies, and red meat issues is the more strident of the two.  As of this writing, he is still the frontrunner.

Last week, DeMaio challenged Bob Filner, to a debate on pension issues.  Tactically, this was a strategy designed to set up the classic conservative vs. liberal battle between taxpayer advocates and a well-known union protector.  Filner recently lashed out, calling pension reform efforts “throwing public employees under the bus.”  Still, his candidacy is lagging behind Independent Fletcher and Republican DeMaio.

Here is the question and the results of the Survey USA Poll:

If the primary election for San Diego mayor were today, who would you vote for? (names rotated) Carl DeMaio? Bonnie Dumanis? Bob Filner? Nathan Fletcher? Some other candidate?

28% Carl DeMaio

13% Bonnie Dumanis

20% Bob Filner

26% Nathan Fletcher

4% Other

10% Undecided

It’s too soon given these numbers to know which candidates will emerge in the top two but the poll proves what insiders in Sacramento and the Fletcher fan club already knows – never underestimate Nathan Fletcher.  Stay tuned….the ride gets more bumpy from here.

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