Two newÂ polls showÂ candidates are neck-and-neck in both the San Jose mayor's race and the battleÂ for Silicon Valley's 17th Congressional District seat. But, as expected, not everyone agrees on the numbers.
The first poll, commissioned last week by Sam Liccardo's campaign and released Monday, has LiccardoÂ and county Supervisor Dave Cortese suddenly tiedÂ in theÂ mayor's race, though the pool of undecided voters increased since the last survey in August.Â AÂ survey ofÂ 400 likely San Jose voters, conducted by pollster Jim Moore,Â hasÂ Liccardo and Cortese in a dead heatÂ at 30 percent each, with 40 percent of voters undecided. The margin of error: 5 percentage points.
The number of undecided voters jumped by 15 percent since the previous poll in mid-August.
"You would think, with all the hit pieces going back and forth, that negatives on both these candidates would have increased, but they haven't,âÂ MooreÂ told San Jose Inside. "Voters are just pulling back and not judging anything.â
Moore's company, JMM Research, has previously conducted pollsÂ for Santa Clara County'sÂ Measure A sales tax in 2012 andÂ Measure B transportation taxes back inÂ 1992. The firm has also carried outÂ polls for Gov. Jerry Brown, state senator-turned county supervisorÂ Joe Simitian and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto).
Liccardoâs camp declined to provideÂ the full pollÂ to San Jose Inside butÂ toutedÂ the new figures as showing the San Jose councilman has made a dramatic climbÂ since the primary.
âAll the momentum is with us,â campaign manager Ragan Henninger boasted in a newsletter blasted out Monday.
Corteseâs team, however, dismissed the numbers as hype.
âIt looks like political spin to me,â CorteseÂ spokesmanÂ Vince Rocha told San Jose Inside. âI think for us, we donât need the spin. Weâre focused on talking to the voters about public safety in San Jose, so we can lead the only poll that matters, the one on Nov. 4.â
The second poll releasedÂ this week apparently shows Ro Khanna has caught upÂ to seven-term incumbent Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in the D-17 race.
The survey reached out toÂ 400 likely voters in the South Bay congressional district Oct. 8 and 9, according toÂ David Binder Research, which conducted the poll on behalf of the Khanna campaign. The results reportedly haveÂ the candidates even at 38 percent, with 24 percent undecided and a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Khanna's campaign saidÂ the 37-year-old patent attorney has moved up from just 5 percent in aÂ polls conducted last year to a tie in the past month. Part of the recent momentum has been attributed to theÂ candidates' only televisedÂ debate held last week. The poll suggests Honda has dropped nearly 20 percentage points in the last year and a half. Read the full text of the poll here.
Honda's campaign dismissed the numbers, saying they don't match up. A Democratic polling firm hired by Honda's campaign releasedÂ its own poll showing the incumbent up by 15 points. You can read the abridged poll questionsÂ hereÂ (the Honda campaign didn't release theÂ full script).
"Even after millions of dollars spent on Khannaâs behalf, voters in the 17th Congressional District continue to stand behind Mike Hondaâs record of effective service, while Khanna struggles to connect with voters," Honda pollster David Mermin, of Lake Research Partners, announced Monday.
Lake Research is the same firm that predicted a sure victory for embattled ex-Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi in her race earlier this yearÂ for the 10th Senate District. But Hayashi finished a distant third in the June primaryâleaving herÂ out ofÂ the runoff.
Khanna's campaign noted that Honda may have fallen back in the polls because of a San Jose Inside investigation that showed the congressman's chief-of-staff, Jennifer Van der Heide, violated ethics laws by coordinating campaign efforts with official staff work.
Honda was forced to respond, saying he was "disappointed" in his staff and that Van der Heide had apologized. Khanna's supporters filed a complaint against Honda, who has said he welcomes an investigation by theÂ House Ethics Commission.