The race for Santa Clara Countyâs District 4 supervisor will pit an entrenched politician against a corporate shill. At least, those are the somewhat caricatured negatives being tested in a new poll in the contest between San Jose Councilman Don Rocha and San Jose Unified trustee Susan Ellenberg.
The survey was presumably commissioned by Ellenbergâs campâthough sources wouldnât confirm that one way or the otherâand asked prospective voters whether theyâd be more likely to vote against a candidate after reading each prompt.
âRocha is a career politician and does not have any substantial experience or education outside of politics,â one read. âEllenberg is supported by corporate leaders and she will put their interests ahead of average citizens,â another said.
Some of the prompts took shots at Rochaâs voting record, asking how respondents felt about the councilman approving his own raiseâsomething the council is responsible for doing under San Joseâs charterâor how they felt about him supporting âtiny homesâ for the homeless and re-allocating unused public safety funding to cover other expenses.
Others fished for reaction about Ellenbergâs East Coast heritage and graduation from âan expensive, elite New York law school,â her relative lack of political experience or how she âused more than $120,000 of her personal wealth to buy the election in June.â
Much of the poll seems to stem from talking points that arose during the primary, including from instances in which candidates Dominic Caserta and Pierluigi Oliverio, respectively, touted their fourth- and second-generation roots in the district. Of course, that kind of messaging might not resonate as much as it used to, given the countyâs increasingly diverse foreign-born and otherwise non-native population.
Though Fly was unable to ascertain which statements gained the most traction with voters, the survey offers a glimpse of whatâs likely to end up on campaign mailers later on in the election cycle.