The first polling in the San Jose mayor’s race came out this week, just days away from the filing deadline. One survey suggests that Sam Liccardo will coast his way to a second term in the June primary, a contest that’s so far only drawn few obscure opponents—QuangMinh Pham, Tyrone Wade and Ed Rael.
But another poll has progressives hopeful that they could find a more left-leaning candidate to unseat the incumbent despite his $545,000 head start in fundraising and endorsements from six members of Congress and every living former San Jose mayor.
The poll commissioned by Liccardo’s camp shows that of 400 likely San Jose voters, 67 percent approve of his work as mayor and more than half consider him trustworthy and collaborative. Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, who’s handling Liccardo’s campaign coffers, says the survey confirms what he already knew.
“It’s going to be extremely tough to defeat Sam,” he tells Fly. “It’s always hard to defeat an incumbent without some kind of scandal or something, but if you’re in politics today and you have a 67 percent favorability rating, that makes a pretty strong case.”
A competing poll of just as many prospective voters, however, found that only 18 percent of respondents wholeheartedly support Liccardo and 45 percent are ambivalent about his performance. The second survey asked how people felt about county Supervisor Cindy Chavez jumping into the race.
While she was viewed less favorably than Liccardo, a source familiar with the poll say even he failed to win over more than half the respondents. With results like that, it’s probably not worth the trouble for Chavez to run against Liccardo.
“Cindy is doing a great job,” Stone says. “So what would it benefit her to take on a mayor who has a two-thirds approval rating?”
Below is the announcement Liccardo’s campaign sent about its initial poll.
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) recently completed a survey of likely voters in San Jose to assess views of Mayor Sam Liccardo in advance of the June primary election. The results show both broad and strong approval of the mayor’s performance in office, and support for many of his key policy initiatives. The data also show that—by an overwhelming margin—June voters are likely to vote to re-elect him rather than replace him. Among the key specific findings of the survey were the following:
• Voters approve of Mayor Liccardo’s performance in office by a significant margin. Fully two-thirds of likely voters (67 percent) approve of Liccardo’s performance as mayor, while only one-quarter (25 percent) disapprove.
• Local voters express broad approval of many of Liccardo’s key policy initiatives. As shown in the table below, more than nine in 10 voters indicate support for a variety of key programs and policies from Liccardo’s first term as mayor. Support for the specific elements of Liccardo’s agenda likely underlies the widespread approval of his performance as mayor.
• In addition, voters perceive Liccardo as having a number of positive traits that underlie his success as mayor. Survey respondents were read a list of words and phrases, and were asked to indicate how well each describes Liccardo.
The following are some of the traits voters most closely associate with him:
• Is working to rebuild the San Jose Police Department (which 62 percent say describes Liccardo “well” and 20 percent “not well”)
• Is hardworking and energetic (61 percent to 15 percent)
• Honest and someone we can trust (54 percent to 28 percent)
• Works well with the City Council (54 percent to 15 percent)
• Has accomplished a lot as mayor (53 percent to 29 percent)
• On our side (52 percent to 31 percent)
Taken together, the data show that Mayor Liccardo is in an extremely strong position to win re-election in June. Voters have a very positive view of Liccardo personally and approve of his performance as Mayor by even wider margins. Voters express broad support for a wide range of his key policy initiatives
Methodology: From Feb. 25 to 28, FM3 conducted 400 telephone interviews with San Jose voters who are considered likely to cast ballots in the June 28 primary election. Interviews were conducted in English and Vietnamese, and on landline and wireless phones. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Margins of error for subgroups within the sample will be higher. Some percentages may not sum to 100 percent because of rounding