Friday, March 4, 2016

Skinner's internal polling touts across the board lead in State Senate District race

Current Ninth State Senate District candidates,
clockwise, Nancy Skinner, Sandre Swanson, 
Katherine Welch, and Rich Kinney.
Nancy Skinner's internal polling shows her campaign for the Ninth State Senate District would easily win the four-person June primary and also top her likely November opponent, Sandre Swanson.

The poll, released by Skinner's camapign on Thursday, was conducted from Feb. 29 though Mar. 2 among 400 likely primary voters, according to the pollster's memo.

In a four-person race, according to the poll, Skinner leads with 32 percent of respondents; Swanson followed with 16 percent. Katherine Welch registered 10 percent, and San Pablo Mayor Rich Kinney, the only Republican in the race, received 8 percent.

Head-to-head, Skinner leads Swanson by a large margin, 45-19. Both served parts of the East Bay in the State Assembly for three terms. Skinner was termed out in 2014, Swanson in 2012.

Releasing the results of the poll is obviously advantageous for Skinner,who also has plenty of campaign cash to fund such surveys, but, in turn, should be taken with a grain of salt.

For instance, the Skinner poll shows her leading Swanson, 32-26, in the 18th Assembly District, which Swanson once served. It also showed Skinner's endorsements from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Berkeley professor Robert Reich trumped Swanson's backing from current Ninth District state Sen. Loni Hancock and popular Rep. Barbara Lee.

Swanson's campaign did not return a request for comment.

Skinner also released the results of a poll in early December that is believed to have been conducted sometime last fall. In it, the survey found voters favored Skinner with 30 percent support. However, that poll included then-candidate Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, who dropped out in October, and did not include Welch, who joined the race at around the same time of the polling.

That survey, however, caused concern among some local Democratic insiders who believed Skinner's share of the vote should have been higher. The poll also showed Swanson with 15 percent support and Kinney with just 8 percent, roughly the same percentage of registered Republicans in the state Senate district. 


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