Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Wiener Senate campaign poll has him 15 points ahead of Kim in SF race

Supervisor Scott Wiener

Supervisor Scott Wiener

An internal campaign poll has Scott Wiener leading his opponent, Jane Kim, by 15 points in their race for San Francisco’s state Senate seat.

But Kim’s campaign has countered that his advantage will be short-lived.

Wiener, a gay man who represents District 8 on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, and Kim, the city’s District 6 supervisor, are both seeking to represent the 11th Senate District, which covers all of San Francisco and several cities in northern San Mateo County.

The current officeholder, gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), is termed out of office this December. He has endorsed Wiener to be his successor.

According to the poll of 600 voters in the Senate district, conducted December 8-15 by EMC Research and Fall Line Analytics, Wiener also has a 13-point advantage among female voters.

When voters were asked whether characteristics like “being a strong leader” and “being effective and getting things done” better described Wiener or Kim, voters chose Wiener by a two to one margin, according to a release Wiener’s campaign issued this morning (Thursday, January 21).

The poll also found that 39 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Wiener, compared to 26 percent of voters who had a favorable opinion of Kim.

The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent. In the release, Wiener’s campaign contended that “with only one-third of the voters undecided, Wiener is in an extremely strong position with fewer than five months until the June primary.”

In an emailed response to the Bay Area Reporter‘s request for comment, Wiener campaign spokeswoman Maggie Muir wrote, “This significant lead demonstrates that voters believe Supervisor Wiener will be the more effective leader in Sacramento on critical issues like affordable housing, public safety, water conservation and transportation.”

Kim campaign consultant Eric Jaye told the B.A.R. that the polling results actually show a lack of support for Wiener among the Senate district’s voters.

“They have got to be worried. Scott Wiener has been running for this office for five years and virtually nonstop. I wouldn’t call that a very impressive result for five years of work,” said Jaye, founder and president of Storefront Political Media. “I think he needs to be a little bit worried about that particular margin.”

Kim’s campaign has yet to conduct its own polling in the race, though Jaye said it plans to soon.

Predicting that the number one issue in the race will be housing costs, Jaye said that Kim has demonstrated that she is by far the stronger leader on the issue of housing affordability. Wiener, on the other hand, “needs to be worried,” said Jaye, when it comes to his record on affordable housing issues.

“On affordability issues, Jane Kim has an insurmountable lead,” said Jaye. “As this campaign progresses, and that issue is debated, those numbers are going to flip.”

Voters will have a chance to hear the two candidates debate six times prior to the June 7 primary. In a joint statement today the Kim and Wiener campaigns announced they would hold five debates in San Francisco and a sixth in San Mateo County.

They are seeking community groups and media organizations to host the debates, the first of which should be held sometime in mid-February or early March. The plan, said Jaye, is to schedule all six prior to the primary.

Under the state’s jungle primary system, the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the November general election. Although local Republican Party official Hilary Hagenbuch has pulled papers to enter the race, it is widely expected that Wiener and Kim, both Democrats, will be on the fall ballot.

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 21, 2016 @ 1:43 pm PST
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