CA-10: Garamendi Poised For Victory, Only Woods Has Momentum

As John Garamendi touts in a diary here, the most recent SurveyUSA poll shows the Lt. Governor with a comfortable lead in the CA-10 primary set for Tuesday.  I am surprised that another candidate hasn’t talked it up as well, however, because the only candidate showing movement from the previous SurveyUSA poll is Anthony Woods.

In fact, this new poll, from 8/26-8/27, has Garamendi at 25%, Sen. Mark DeSaulnier at 16%, Asm. Joan Buchanan at 12% and Anthony Woods at 9%, with 5% undecided.  The last poll, from 8/10-8/11 was Garamendi 26%, DeSaulnier 15%, Buchanan 12% and Woods 5%.  I don’t think there are enough undecided voters to push Woods much further, but he’s running the only race drawing undecided voters, if the polls can be believed.

Among those who have already voted, the numbers are similar: Garamendi 27%, DeSaulnier 18%, Buchanan 13% and Woods 10%.

Certainly, Garamendi looks very strong for victory, and there aren’t likely to be enough voters Tuesday to favor a late riser, but Anthony Woods is running the only race moving from no built-in support to a credible challenge.  As for the relative flatness of the two state legislators, I’d say the choice by Sen. DeSaulnier to decide on a monomaniac focus on Garamendi’s residency issue, which simply has not moved voters in numerous other instances, instead of giving voters a reason to support him, would offer some answer.  Buchanan has run a self-funded campaign focused mainly on finding female support, but not necessarily a larger message.  In an environment with three safe or fairly lackluster campaigns, the expected form is holding.  Only Woods appears to be taking in new support, but his uphill battle was perhaps too high to climb.

13 thoughts on “CA-10: Garamendi Poised For Victory, Only Woods Has Momentum”

  1. I suspect that Buchanan knows a great deal more than any of the recent name recognition ‘robo-polls’ would reveal – and the public FEC campaign expenditure reports give 5 clues as to what she knows.

    1.  Data driven strategy: Very early on Buchanan did some $40,000 in polling which means that from the start she knew exactly who she needed to target to win and the messaging which would resonate with them.

    2.  Organized well funded ground campaign from the start:  The FEC reports show that during the last three months she has had approximately 200 paid walkers and the same number of paid phone workers laboring each and every of the 90 days.  

    3.  Door knocking:  200 workers x 4 hours per day x 15 doors per hour x 90 days = ~ 1 million households with face-to-face contact with actual voters discussing their concerns with targeted messaging, gathering data, and asking for their votes [repeatedly].  

    4.  Phoning:  200 workers x 8 hours per day x 20 calls per hours x 90 days = ~2.9 million calls made with actual voters discussing their concerns with targeted messaging, gathering data, and asking for their votes [repeatedly].

    5.  Data driven tactics:  Remember that nearly 2/3’s of this was done before the absentee ballots were sent out so Buchanan probably knows better than anyone or any poll which voters have already voted and for whom, who supports her, and which are truly undecided.  With less than 3 days to go Buchanan’s opponents are flying blind and relying on shotgun tactics with volunteers to get-out-the-vote in 100+ degree weather.  Meanwhile Buchanan’s campaign is using a rifle.

    I am not saying that this will overcome Garamendi’s name recognition, or DeSaulinier’s local establishment support, but in a low turnout election, this well funded textbook ‘below the radar’ ground campaign strategy might prove decisive and create a big surprise…we will see.  What do others think as I’d love to hear?

  2. CD10 voters have been fortunate to have many talented and qualified candidates seek this seat. Garamendi, DeSaulnier, Buchanan, Woods and Hampton each brought unique backgrounds and visions to this race; they have actively engaged the voters and have each participated in many debates and forums throughout the district. Each person who does not win should nonetheless have a bright future helping build a better California. Thanks to each of them for their contributions to this process.

    Lets make sure we GOTV on Tuesday and then rally behind the Dem who prevails to make sure we secure the seat in November.

  3. I personally think Garamendi is going to win, but given the very low turnout it is possible for someone else to take the race if they do a better job getting their voters to the polls.  As far as the comment about a dedicated volunteer being better than a paid walker, you have to be kidding.  Not only is it hard to find a dedicated volunteer who has the time to walk (most have real jobs) but it’s also hard to get any volunteer to follow a fixed schedule and for any walk program to be successful, you need to have all sorts of things going on beyond just the appearance at the door.  (i.e.  prewalk cards, post walk letters, follow up phone calls from the campaign to get supporters out, etc.)  All of that is almost mandatory and it’s hard to do with a volunteer crew that appears and disappears on their own schedule.  Volunteers are great at some tasks and I even think better at basic phoning.  But you can’t have volunteers doing most of the voter contact or you will never have a full program.

  4. I suspect Buchanan increased her spending since the last FEC report and has already topped $1M for her 3 month ground campaign which, if what I hear is correct, is only a very very very very small portion of her personal wealth.  It will be interesting to see what impact this will have had when the actual polls close tonight.  

  5. It will definitely be an interesting election night.  There was a post on facebook where Republican consultant Matt Rexroad seemed to be rooting for Buchanan in part because he thinks Republicans have a chance of picking up her seat without an incumbent.  I know Buchanan has made a real push at getting votes from Republican women.  It will be real interesting if she has a large bloc of Republican support.

  6. Seems Buchanan’s $850K worth of paid drones didn’t do the job.  Were I of the millenial snark squad, I’d say something like EPIC FAIL.

    It looks pretty clear that DeSaulnier put all his eggs in the CoCo basket.  Did he bother to tell his endorsers he was pulling out of Alameda & Solano?

    Kudos to Anthony Woods for a great campaign with a lot of grassroots enthusiasm.

Comments are closed.