WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A poll released today by 1st Tuesday Campaigns, a new bi-partisan firm focused on state and international ballot referendums and initiatives, showed incumbent U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein with a significant lead heading into Wednesday's debate with State Senator Kevin de León. The October 5-6 survey of 1,038 likely California voters has Feinstein up 13 points over de León – 43%-30% with a significant 27% still undecided.
Kevin de León faces a steep uphill climb in his quest to unseat California's senior Senator. While incumbency is proving to be a drag around many elected officials around the country this cycle, that does not appear to be the case in California. Feinstein's approval rating remains solid with a 56% job approval. Her numbers match popular current Governor Jerry Brown who receives a 55% approval rating. Despite numbers well into the 50's, Feinstein does see drop off when voters are asked which candidate they plan to vote for in November. She drops to 43% supporting her reelection.
Despite Feinstein's precarious position, de León does not appear to be making significant headway in his race to unseat her and garners just 30% of the vote. More problematic for him, early voting has already begun in the state meaning he must not only make up ground quickly but also overcompensate for the polling position in which he currently finds himself.
Time is running out for Kevin de León to make this a real race. California's top two primary system has led to a second straight Democrat vs. Democrat general election for the U.S. Senate. At a time of heightened Democratic intensity and a surge in progressive activism, Senator Feinstein's incumbency and more moderate profile appeared to be potential weaknesses heading into this election.
However, de León has not tapped into any of that energy. He is losing among every demographic in our poll other than Republican voters, and his lead there is likely due to his lack of name recognition – Republicans see Feinstein as the only Democrat in the race. Senator de León even loses among Latino voters – a segment that his campaign likely saw as their base at the beginning of this effort. On top of that, his fundraising numbers remain weak.
The lone bright spot for the de León campaign is the still high number of undecided voters – 27%. With Feinstein's name recognition and long service to the state, she should be in a stronger position with the electorate at this point. If voters are still undecided about Feinstein at this point in the race, with all of her structural advantages and high profile, then they clearly are looking elsewhere. These voters represent a glimmer of hope for de León.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted online using stratified sampling. Respondents were selected to be representative of registered voters living in the state of California based on age, gender, ethnicity, education, and homeownership.
In order to achieve a representative sample, figures for California from the U.S. Census Bureau were used to derive weighting targets. The final survey data was weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, homeownership, and 2016 Presidential election vote.
Just over 1,800 online interviews took place between October 1st - 3rd 2018. In these interviews, respondents were asked a number of questions regarding their eligibility to vote at their current address in the state of California; their voting history; and their likelihood to vote in the elections in November 2018.
Of the 1,800 online interviews that took place, the 1,038 registered voters who were identified as the most likely to vote in the elections in November 2018 were permitted to take and complete the final survey. All questions appear in the order in which they were shown to respondents. The final computer tables show weighted crosstab data for the following variables: gender, age, 2016 presidential vote, ethnicity, education, urbanicity, and homeownership.
This survey has a margin of error of 3.04% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error within specific demographics (crosstabs) is significantly higher due to the smaller sample size. Due to the effects of rounding some figures may not equal 100%.
About 1st Tuesday Campaigns
1st Tuesday Campaigns is a new bi-partisan firm launched by veteran campaign strategists Gerry Gunster, Matt Rodriguez, and Jonathan Stember. Launched last week, the firm will focus exclusively on ballot initiatives and referendums. Services will include opinion research and message development; campaign strategy and management; earned media relations; creative testing, production, and advertising; paid media placement; and voter contact operations.
The team brings decades of campaign experience from the right and left sides of the political spectrum. Throughout the final weeks of the 2018 campaign season, the 1st Tuesday team will provide expert insight into this season's most hotly contested state ballot measures across the country, with exclusive polling and commentary through news media partners and 1st Tuesday's own social channels, including @1stTuesCampaign on Twitter and @1stTuesdayCampaigns on Instagram and Facebook, along with 1stTuesdayCampaigns.com.
SOURCE 1st Tuesday Campaigns