Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates
Key Finding from Recent Survey of Assembly District 18 Voters
August 30, 2012
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) recently conducted a survey of 400 voters in Assembly District 18 likely to vote in the November 2012 Presidential election.i Although the majority of the electorate remains undecided, the survey results show Abel Guillen with a five point lead over Rob Bonta in an initial matchup before respondents are offered any biographical information about the candidates or messaging.
Guillen Enters General Election with 5‐point Lead over Bonta Figure 1: Assembly District 18 November General Election “In the election for State Assembly, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: (ROTATE): Candidate Abel Guillen Rob Bonta Guillen Lead
All Voters 26% 21% +5
Oakland 29% 17% +12
Alameda 23% 37% (-14)
San Leandro 19% 14% +5
NOTE: Given Rob Bonta’s focus on Alameda in his ballot designation, Guillen updated his ballot designation for the general election to “Oakland/Educator/Boardmember.”
Guillen’s Lead Expands After Voters Learn More about the Candidates
General Election voters also responded very favorably to Guillen’s profile after they heard more information about both candidates. After being presented with positive biographical descriptions of each of the AD 18 candidates, Guillen’s lead increases from 5 to 7 points, expanding his base of support in Oakland and with other key constituencies in AD18. Figure 2: Assembly District 18 November General Election “In the election for State Assembly, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: (ROTATE): Candidate Abel Guillen Rob Bonta Guillen Lead
First Vote 26% 21% +5
Vote After Bios Bio Vote 39% 32% +7
Gain +13% +11%
NOTE: The Bonta biography tested was taken directly from the poll released publicly in June by the Bonta campaign.
AD 18 Voter Survey—August 2012 Page 2
Guillen Bio Abel Guillen grew up in a working-class neighborhood and was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a master’s degree from UC Berkeley. Guillen has dedicated his life to helping local schools, creating jobs, and fighting to protect our community from corporate special interests. Guillen served two terms as a Community College Board Member representing Laney, Merritt, Berkeley City College and the College of Alameda. He expanded college access and provided scholarships for thousands of local students and protected job-training programs from state budget cuts. When he discovered that Wall Street banks were charging huge fees and making risky investments with our colleges’ funds, he took action and moved our money into local, community-based banks, putting our district’s dollars back to work here in the East Bay. Guillen is endorsed by teachers, nurses, environmentalists, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Democratic clubs and progressive leaders. (147 word count) Bonta Bio Rob Bonta learned the value of public service early on. Both of his parents were active with the United Farm Workers and the civil rights movement. Rob Bonta is the Vice Mayor of the city of Alameda. He is also a Deputy City Attorney, and his job is to protect consumers. Bonta is married and the father of three children in public schools. On the Alameda City Council, Bonta has strengthened public safety, reduced pension costs and balanced his city’s budget, and has improved city services for residents. Bonta is also working with the Obama Administration to develop land at a former naval base in Alameda -- a project that will create nine thousand local jobs at no cost to taxpayers. Bonta is endorsed by police officers and firefighters in Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro, by school employees, by doctors, and by the San Francisco Chronicle. (146 word count)
These results more accurately reflect the state of the race than research conducted by the Bonta campaign in June, which was based on an incorrect ballot designation for Abel Guillen and utilized incorrect information for Guillen’s biographical statement. In contrast, this poll tested Gullen’s actual ballot designation against the designation filed by Bonta, as well as an accurate description of Guillen’s background test against the Bonta biography, taken from the poll released by his campaign in June.
More than 2/3rds of voters prefer Guillen’s support for public employee pensions and high speed rail. A slim minority of AD18 voters agree with Rob Bonta’s statements on pension reforms and high speed rail Recently, the Oakland Tribune wrote that there were only a few key distinctions between the two candidates. The Tribune editorial board wrote that Bonta “speaks more forcefully for pension reform and about the state’s misguided high‐speed rail plan.” With these two issues as key differences between the candidates, we tested Guillen’s positions on pensions and on high speed rail compared to Bonta’s positions as reported in the Tribune. The survey results show that voters in AD18 overwhelmingly support Abel Guillen’s positions on these key issues and repel against Bonta’s stance.
AD 18 Voter Survey—August 2012 Page 3
Voters Prefer Guillen’s Position on Public Employee Pensions Figure 3: Assembly District 18 November General Election “Now I am going to read several pairs of descriptions of potential candidates for State Assembly. After I read each pair, please tell me which candidate you prefer” Candidate Description
(Bonta‐ Oakland Tribune 8/10/12) A candidate who speaks forcefully on pension reform for public employees OR
(Guillen) A candidate who believes public employees like teachers deserve a secure retirement and should be able to keep the pension they earned.
Voters Side with Guillen’s Position in Support of High Speed Rail Figure 4: Assembly District 18 November General Election “Now I am going to read several pairs of descriptions of potential candidates for State Assembly. After I read each pair, please tell me which candidate you prefer” Candidate Description
(Bonta‐ Oakland Tribune 8/10/12) A candidate who is opposed to the state’s high speed rail plan OR
(Guillen) A candidate who supports the Governor’s plan to build a high speed rail train creating thousands of good jobs and new transportation solutions in California
Overall, the survey results demonstrate that Abel Guillen is well positioned to win the Assembly District race in November. Guillen leads the race in an unaided vote and broadens his support after voters learn more about each of the candidates. The results further demonstrate that Guillen’s positions on public employee pensions and high speed rail are more in tune with the electorate than those of his opponent, Rob Bonta, which adds to Guillen’s strength in the general election. i
Methodology: From August 23-27 2012, FM3 completed a survey of 402 Assembly District 18 voters likely to cast ballots in the November 2012 Presidential election. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/-4.9%. Some results do not total to 100% because of rounding.