That’s the verdict according to a J. Moore Methods poll that dropped over the weekend and that found its way into my hands this afternoon. Remember that this is an open primary – if someone gets more than 50% they win; if not then the top candidates from each party go to a runoff. According to the poll, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi leads among likely voters (36% have no opinion):
(Rupf is Republican Warren Rupf, Sheriff of CoCo County)
The personal ratings are included, which show that Garamendi also has a big name ID and favorability advantage over all his challengers. Voter turnout is projected to be 30%, with 55% Dem, 33% Rep, and 12% DTS.
Of course, Garamendi doesn’t have a 50% lead here, and the election hasn’t even been scheduled yet. There’s time for either DeSaulnier or Buchanan to try and catch up, but it’s going to be a difficult climb. Garamendi’s high public profile and ability to raise money for this campaign will be significant advantages. DeSaulnier, a solid progressive who would also make an excellent member of Congress, can counter with strong on-the-ground support, but it’s unclear if that can trump Garamendi’s built-in advantages.
This leads me to wonder if Buchanan plans to stick around in the race – I can’t see her getting very far against this kind of opposition. Or perhaps DeSaulnier might step back and let Garamendi take it. So far as I can tell, however, both fully intend to continue their run.
Neither Anthony Woods nor Adriel Hampton were included in this poll, but I can’t imagine either one would meaningfully impact the outcome.
So as far as I can tell this is Garamendi’s to lose. We’ll see if this poll shifts the landscape at all.