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UncategorizedNew poll shows Ammiano ahead 2-1 in state Senate...

New poll shows Ammiano ahead 2-1 in state Senate race

Former Assembly member, who hasn’t announced whether he’s running, would lead Sup. Scott Wiener by 42-21. Without Ammiano, Wiener is in a close race with Sup. Jane Kim

48hillswienertom

By Tim Redmond

MARCH 2, 2015 – Just as Randy Shaw has declared the 2016 state Senate race as a two-person contest between Sups. Scott Wiener and Jane Kim, a new poll shows former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano as the overwhelming favorite in the district.

The poll, by David Binder Associates, shows Ammiano beating Wiener by 42-21 percent citywide. Ammiano leads 53-22 among LGBT-identified voters and leads in every ethnic and political group except for Republicans.

Even in Weiner’s own district, the race is a statistical tie, with Wiener ahead just 42-40.

The poll has a sample size of 600 and a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Binder is one of the state’s most prominent and respected pollsters and has done work for the Obama campaign, among others.

The state Senate district includes all of San Francisco and a small part of San Mateo County, which was not included in the poll.

Ammiano hasn’t announced a campaign, and told me that he hasn’t decided if he wants to run. But the polls show that if he did enter the race, he would be the instant front-runner.

If Ammiano stays out, the poll shows Wiener and Kim in a statistical tie, with Wiener ahead 29-23.

In a three-way race — which is highly unlikely, since I don’t think Kim would run against Ammiano — Ammiano has 32 percent, Wiener 17 and Kim 9.

And they might not be the only candidates. Sup. Eric Mar has told friends that he might consider the race if Ammiano doesn’t run. Mar’s support wasn’t tested in the poll.

The poll looked at the universe of voters likely to go to the polls in November, 2016. That’s a good universe for a progressive candidate, since it coincides with a presidential election, meaning turnout will be comparatively high.

And it suggests that the voters still lean strongly progressive when turnout is at its highest.

Given the face that Wiener has been openly saying he’s planning to run for the Senate for months now, and Kim has made no such statements, the poll shows surprising weakness for the District 8 supervisor.

Against Ammiano, he would start “in a deep hole,” consultant Jim Stearns, who has analyzed the poll, told me. “Entering a race 20 points down is not a good place to be.”

If Ammiano doesn’t run, and instead were to endorse Kim, she would pick up a lot of his support and probably move into the lead.

Ammiano hasn’t run on the west side of town in a long time; he’s represented District 9 and then the east-side Assembly District for the 15 years. And that’s the more conservative part of town.

But Ammiano still leads Wiener in the 19th Assembly District, 38-14. In the 17th AD, it’s 45-26.

The race will be expensive: Wiener is a proven fundraiser, as is Kim. Ammiano still has strong connections in Sacramento, and could raise money statewide.

Again: Ammiano might decide not to run. But the poll numbers will no doubt boost the ranks of people who call on him to enter the race. And if he stays out, with Wiener, Kim, and possibly Mar, there will be no clear favorite.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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35 COMMENTS

  1. Tomorrow, the fifteenth, is the deadline for any person who wishes write-in votes for them to be counted by the Elections Office in the race for Mayor to submit papers. It is a mere formality that Tom could observe but it would be meaningful because it would give progressives at least a solid vote against Lee on the ballot.

  2. Ammiano is loved even by moderates in San Francisco because he is the only pol in town with a sense of humor.

  3. I’ve spoken to Tom personally since the article and my above comment. He told me and the audience at the Bernal Heights Democratic Club that he has not made up his mind what race he might make. Furthermore, he does not plan to make a decision until June and it depends on what happens in the meantime. So, yes, “Guest” Sam Spam, I read the article and my remark stands: Ammiano for Mayor 2016—Save San Francisco. RUN TOM RUN SEE TOM WIN

  4. interesting stuff. But you don’t have to be a native to be a san Franciscan
    not everybody who lives here is a san Franciscan. You have to want to be one.

  5. Yes, so it says a lot that in a hypothetical match-up for Senate, he’d barely carry his own district (which he won by a mile) against Ammiano. Very bad sign for him.

  6. The point, Greg, was not about the personal qualities (or lack of them) of Evans and Brown, but rather the fact that they could actually talk to people with whom they disagreed.

    Campos never leaves his comfort zone. Daly could never play well with others.

    Ammiano may be a little more smooth (or self-controlled) than Evans or Brown, but he is of the same ilk – old school lefty.

  7. “Cut the masquerade, Spam, you’re no lefty.”

    Yep. Incidentally, neither were Brown and Evans. That’s one of the most bizarre comments I’ve read on this forum. Brown had no ideological compass whatsoever. He was just an all-purpose shit-disturber. Evans, by contrast, was very easy to put in an ideological box -anti-progressive to the core. And neither were particularly pleasant people to be around. Brown had a propensity to say shockingly insulting things to women, and he didn’t care much for Jews either. And Evans was a misanthrope to the core. A gay man who had such a pathological hatred of men that he refused to have sex with anyone for most of his adult life, Evans was perhaps the only person I knew of who I would label “self-hating.” Not to mention a hypocrite, maintaining a rent-controlled apartment in a prime location while hurling invective at all the people who fought for people like him to be able to stay in the city… and hurl invective at them.

    And to make that statement even more bizarre, since it came as a supposedly backhanded compliment of Ammiano… let’s not forget that Evans reserved a particular hatred for Tom Ammiano, bordering on obsession.

    Weird to see these two held up as examples of leftist politics and pleasant disposition. But then I suppose if one was actually a right wing misanthrope, they would be the kind of “lefties” one would like.

  8. Patrick, the term “push poll” has a very specific meaning. This is a flaw in the poll, but it doesn’t make it a push poll. And it’s a small flaw. With numbers like that, it wouldn’t have changed much even if the small piece of SMC which lies in the district was included. I mean, Wiener barely carries his own supervisor district.

  9. It would be an interesting race. Both men are thoughtful and truly care about all San Franciscans. Tom likes to grandstand, but I feel that his heart is lot purer than Campos or others on the hard Left. In the end Scott will win though.

  10. Inexplicably, the poll discounted a still significant number of voters who are likely to be conservative.

  11. “and a small part of San Mateo County, which was not included in the poll.” making this a push poll for Ammiano. Let’s see what the numbers look line when you factor in the SMC part of the district

  12. I don’t view Wiener as a “right winger.”

    I am not a “right-winger” and I voted to send Campos to Sacramento.

    Your posts are ridiculous, meaningless and increasingly irrelevant.

    Discuss among yourself.

  13. Lilli, I would never describe Tim as a troll even though i disagree with almost everything he says.

  14. OK, Gary, so it is OK for you to support a right winger to get him out of SF but not OK for a right-winger to support Campos to get him out of SF.

    That just makes so much sense.

  15. That is for the voters to decide, and there will always be exceptions like Reagan. But there are a significant number of voters these days who expect a candidate to have the energy consistent with being 35-55.

    We will see.

  16. The only aspect of your analysis that I would take issue with is importance of his age. After all Jerry Brown will be 80 when he leaves office and Clinton is a front runner for president at 67. Age makes a difference when running for president in terms of stamina and perhaps for TV presence, but it really doesn’t count for much running for state wide office even in a state as large as CA, let alone a state legislature seat from SF.

  17. Sam, I have no idea what is in the minds of your right-wing brothers.

    I am not afraid of any politician, nor do I share your delusions about San Francisco politics.

  18. Russo, is it wrong to try and feel your pain and loss? To empathize with what you clearly see as the “devastation” (to use Tim’s word) of your city?

    I thought you would appreciate the sentiment.

  19. Is that like a right-winger arguing that it would have been better for Campos to have beaten Chiu?

    Sounds like you are scared that Wiener is powerful, popular and effective enough to take over from Lee as mayor in 2020. No danger of that with Campos, who couldn’t even win the more liberal east-side.

  20. I’d vote for Tom, but if he decides not to run, I hope we can get rid of Wiener by sending him to Sacramento.

  21. Yes, the old school lefties were OK. Remember Evans and Brown on SFBG? Good guys, they would drink, shoot the breeze, mix it up with chicks (well, Brown anyway) and weren’t PC at all. Ammiano is a little more polished than them, but cut from the same cloth.

    But now lefties are so aggressive and petulant and racist that nobody will elect them. Campos was saved from the humiliation he would have suffered in Sac. He should kiss the ground that Chiu majestically walks upon.

    Identity politics, the politics of envy and political correctness have ruined the left and sapped all their electoral credibility. Perhaps Tom can show the cheerier more nuanced side of leftiness by having one last hurrah for our side?

  22. Good analysis but otoh, Tom is a really nice guy who has a lot of goodwill in the community. He’s not just another hypocrite (see Campos), he’s a genuine person who cares about everyone. He is old school & has a lot of cache. Pretty sure he’d win. Then when he retired someone more moderate would probably take his place. He would win because he’s likable and actually caring about everyone.

  23. Mar has no chance. He is a laughing stock. Let’s start with that.

    I’m surprised Ammiano’s numbers are as high as stated. There’s a certain amount of goodwill for an elder statesman. Perhaps more importantly, he is one of the old school of leftists who were actually fairly witty and entertaining, didn’t take themselves so seriously, and could mix well with different groups. Daly and Campos could learn a lot from him, but haven’t evidently.

    He’s a little old for many people. Does he really want to be fighting battles in his 70’s? Then again, what else is he going to do? Write for the Chron?

    Either way Wiener and Kim are the future. Personally I’d rather see Wiener as mayor, and possible future state governor. While Kim treads the more culturally appropriate route through state legislative positions. As Shaw notes, they’re both very similar. Kim is a little more lefty but she is ambitious enough not to be pedantic about it or, as Shaw puts it, less likely to be “ideologically pigeonholed” in the way that Campos was.

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