Late last week the California Public Safety Voter Guide (managed by Landslide Communications) commissioned a brief survey in the 52nd Congressional District. The poll was conducted by the respected firm NSON out of Utah with calls made to 606 district voters who cast ballots in the last general election, This district includes some of downtown San Diego and takes the coast West and North before jutting inland east of La Jolla. You can see a map here.
Last year wealthy former San Diego City Councilman Scott Peters, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Congressman Brian Bilbray in this seat, by a very narrow margin. Recently former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, apparently rested up after his marathon campaign for Mayor, announced his candidacy for this seat. As of now he is the only announced GOP candidate.
The survey really only asked a few key questions, and directly tested the issues both of DeMaio being gay, and his support for same-sex marriage. I thought the responses were telling…
Q1. If the election for your next Member of Congress was held today, who would you vote for of the following three candidates?
229 (37.8%) Scott Peters, Democrat incumbent
209 (34.5%) Carl DeMaio, Republican, former San Diego Council member
32 (5.3%) Howard Kaloogian, Republican, former California State Assemblyman
136 (22.4%) Undecided / Don’t Know
Q2. Now I am going to read you some information about Carl DeMaio. According to an article that appeared in the New York Times on October 29, 2012, DeMaio is “openly gay” and has “stated his support for gay marriage.”
Having offered you this information, now I am going to ask you again who you would vote for as your next Member of Congress if the election was held today:
218 (36.0%) Scott Peters, Democrat incumbent
213 (35.1%) Carl DeMaio, Republican, former San Diego Council member
42 (6.9%) Howard Kaloogian, Republican, former California State Assemblyman
133 (21.9%) Undecided / Don’t Know
Let me first throw out here that I have never heard of former Assemblyman Kaloogian being interested in running for this seat. I believe he was placed into this survey to have an ability to test whether Republicans would move their support from DeMaio to another Republican when told about Demaio’s sexual preference and his support for same-sex marriage.
This short survey is good news for DeMaio. It would appear that these issues do not appreciate move GOP numbers. In fact after voters hear about his positions on these controversial items his support actually increased a tad!
To quote from a NSON executive summary of their survey, Being “openly gay” and having “stated his support for gay marriage” appears to have statistically a very negligible effect with district voters views overall, possibly alluding to prior knowledge of or indifference to DeMaio’s sexuality and support of marriage equality.
While these numbers are slightly lower for DeMaio than those found in a Tarrance Group poll done in April, Peters is still in big trouble.
If you are interested in this survey’s crosstabs, frequencies and data, just drop me an email.