Oakland Poll: Rebecca Kaplan Whips Jean Quan in Mayoral Election
By Doug Oakley Staff Writer Bay Area News Group firstname.lastname@example.org
OAKLAND -- Mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan would win the race over 14 challengers, handily beating runner-up incumbent Jean Quan if the election were held this month, according to a telephone poll of 400 voters released Wednesday.
The poll, commissioned by the nonprofit Jobs and Housing Coalition from Sept. 2 to 8, shows Kaplan getting 61 percent of the vote to Quan's 39 percent in a ranked-choice voting scenario.
Ranked choice comes into play when none of the candidates receives 50 percent of the vote plus one.
"A lot of people know Kaplan and a lot of people like her as a person and now they need to decide if they like her as a mayor," said Gregory McConnell, president of the Jobs and Housing Coalition.
The poll's margin of error is a plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
He said none of the candidates are saying anything really original or groundbreaking because, in addition to trying to get votes for themselves, they also are trying to get the second and third choices of people voting for other candidates.
"You are looking to hold on to your base and trying to secure the second-place votes of your opponents, so the strategy is not to say anything with clarity because you don't want to offend anyone," McConnell said. "All 15 of them say we gotta address public safety, and you ask them how and they say 'we'll get to that later.' If you ask them how many cops we should have they will say 800 to 1,000, but when you ask them how they are going to do it, the conversation ends."
More revealing about Quan is the question asking voters if they would vote for Quan or someone else. Just 16 percent said they would re-elect her and 69 percent said they would replace her. Fifty-seven percent said they disapprove of her job performance and 31 percent said they approve.
The poll shows that people think Oakland's quality of life has improved a little bit and people are a little less worried about crime, but "nobody gives Quan credit for that. Everybody is running a popularity contest and with Jean Quan, a lot of people don't like her," McConnell said.
Just 31 percent of those polled said Oakland's quality of life has improved in the past few years, but last year that number was even lower at 16 percent. In an open ended question asking what are the major issues facing Oakland, 63 percent said crime, which is down from 70 percent last year. The economy followed crime with 37 percent and education with 29 percent.
In general, the poll showed 44 percent of those contacted said Oakland was going in the wrong direction, while 41 percent said it was going in the right direction and 15 percent didn't know.
Of the five candidates running for City Council in District 2, the poll has Dana King winning with 52 percent of the vote followed by Abel Guillen and Andrew Park, both with 17 percent of the ranked-choice votes.
In a ranked-choice vote for the three candidates of the District 4 race, the poll predicts Jill Broadhurst winning with 52 percent of the vote over Annie Campbell Washington, who gets 37 percent of the vote.
And in the District 6 election, Desley Brooks takes the seat with 57 percent of the vote over runner-up Shereda Nosakhare who gets 22 percent in a ranked-choice scenario.