New Poll Offers Foretaste of Tone in Attorney General Race
In a foreshadowing of the tone of next year’s race to become California Attorney General, the Ted Lieu campaign released a poll February 1 showing him competing favorably with one of the GOP contenders, Steve Cooley, the district attorney of Los Angeles County.
Commissioned by Leiu’s campaign, the poll of 500 likely voters notes that 41 percent of Democratic voters are still undecided and that San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has a slight early lead at 19 percent. Lieu is at 7 percent. Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who ran four years ago, has 14 percent of the vote.
The poll, conducted by Paul Goodwin, told voters positives about Lieu, Harris and Cooley – just as the three of them do in their campaigns.
After describing Cooley as a “tough career prosecutor with a strong record fighting corruption, gangs and immigrants who commit crimes,” 62 percent said they would be inclined to vote for him.
Voters were told of Harris’ success in “reducing crime, gun violence, elder and child abuse and domestic violence.” After hearing this, 52 percent said they would be inclined to vote for her.
Lieu, voters were told, was a military prosecutor, cracked down on sub prime lenders, helped homeowners facing foreclosure and other legislation the Torrance Assemblyman carried relating to domestic violence, health insurance and pollution.
Hearing that, 62 percent said they would be inclined to vote for Lieu.
The poll found Harris leading Cooley, 33 percent to 30 percent. Lieu had 29 percent to Cooley’s 28 percent. Statistically that’s a dead heat because the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.3 percent.
Goodwin then read voters what he describes as a “tough” paragraph about Harris:
“Kamala Harris opposes the death penalty. In fact, she refused to seek the death penalty even for a convicted cop-killer. She also refused the death penalty for an illegal immigrant gang member who murdered an entire family. This murderer was on the streets only because Harris had released him when he was arrested a few weeks earlier. And he was able to stay in San Francisco despite being arrested because Harris opposes deporting illegal immigrants, even after they commit violent crimes.
“She also created a program that trains illegal immigrants for jobs in the U.S. One illegal immigrant from her program robbed and then tried to murder his victim. Harris is strongly opposed by most prosecutors and police officers in the state and especially by San Francisco’s own police officers association, the group that knows her best.”
Goodwin’s postscript: “As tough as this is, it pales compared to the images that the GOP will put on TV to defeat her.”
After hearing the negative paragraph, only 25 percent said they would vote for Harris; 62 percent said they would vote against her.
After the negative paragraph, Harris’ 3 percent lead over Cooley flipped to Cooley at 53 percent and Harris at 23 percent.
Goodwin’s conclusion, likely given who commissioned the poll:
“Harris’ record makes her deeply vulnerable to attack.
“Ted Lieu – with a background and ballot label as a prosecutor with a wide range of relevant and appealing positives for voters – would appear to be far more likely than Harris to beat Cooley.”
(Editor’s Note: Curious as to what the reaction of likely voters would be to hearing a “tough” paragraph about Lieu or Cooley.)
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