By Sandra Fluke on September 05, 2014
Poll Shows Sandra Fluke With Significant Lead in SD26 Race
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group
DATE: August 29, 2014
RE: Recent California 26th Senate District Poll
Our poll conducted from August 18 to 20 among 402 likely 26th SD voters confirms that Sandra Fluke has emerged from her strong June primary showing with an initial lead over her opponent, as well as enduring name recognition and strong support among the Democratic base and no party preference (NPP) voters. In fact, it is noteworthy that in this heavily Democratic district, not only does Fluke run extremely strongly among Democrats and NPP voters, but the only group among whom Ben Allen leads is Republicans, who make up only 23.8% of the district.
Sandra Fluke has an early lead. In the initial trial heat, Sandra Fluke (“Democrat, social justice attorney”) holds a seven-point (41% to 34%) advantage over Ben Allen (“Democrat, school board member Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District”). This lead is beyond the margin of error (±5 percentage points).
Sandra Fluke has name ID advantage. Despite being outspent two-to-one between the start of the campaign and June 30 (Ben Allen: $493,925 by campaign PLUS $603,927 in independent expenditures by Bill Bloomfield; Sandra Fluke: $595,294 by campaign, with no independent expenditures), Sandra Fluke’s name recognition is significantly higher than that of Ben Allen. And in a low-information, low-turnout election, name ID is critical to victory.
While both candidates are Democrats, the structure of this race is significant and suggests that Fluke has become THE DEMOCRATIC candidate as well as the favorite among voters with no party preference.
Another way of understanding the dynamics of this unique general election is that Allen is leading by 52% to 15% among conservatives, while Fluke is ahead by 62% to 18% among liberals.
Undecided voters skew in Fluke’s favor. In addition, the allocation of the undecided vote (25%) will be a factor. In this regard, the results are encouraging, because undecided voters largely mirror the groups who are strong supporters of Sandra Fluke in the trial heat. For example, a plurality are liberal, and a solid 45% are registered Democrats (and Democrats support Fluke by more than two to one in the initial trial heat), while 20% are NPP voters, and 27% are Republicans.
In conclusion, this is an election that Sandra Fluke can and should win. Our polling shows that Sandra Fluke has emerged from the June primary as the consensus Democratic candidate among 26th SD Democrats, while her record as a crusader for social justice issues and gender equality is attractive to NPP voters. Although we cannot discount Mr. Allen’s support among Republicans, the heavy Democratic and NPP registration in this district, along with the energizing influence of strong top-of-ticket Democrats like Ted Lieu and Jerry Brown, provide strong momentum for Sandra.