San Francisco Mayor Polls Poorly in His Hometown

Latest numbers in gubernatorial race bad news for Gavin Newsom

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Aug 24, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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San Francisco Mayor Polls Poorly in His Hometown

Franco Folini

The Newsom campaign couldn't have expected to find so little love from fans at home.

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Pre-election polls necessarily have to be taken with a grain of salt, but the latest show San Francisco Mayor less popular than possible rival, California Attorney General Jerry Brown, right here in Newsom's home town.

A poll of 423 residents by David Binder taken earlier this month has Brown leading Newsom by 17 percentage points.

A Moore Methods poll of 600 voters statewide shows Brown with an even bigger lead of 29 percentage points in a possible statewide primary match-up.

What the numbers do accurately forecast is fundraising opportunities. Wealthy campaign donors generally like to bet on front-running candidates.

And in that race, Brown is well ahead of Newsom.

With seven times as much money as Newsom, the Brown campaign has a long head start before having even made his campaign official -- and once Brown does that, the lead may just get longer.

The departure of top campaign officials probably couldn't have come at a worse time for the Newsom campaign, but new director Garry South isn't discouraged.

"Dianne Feinstein started out nearly 20 points behind John Van de Kamp in the 1990 gubernatorial primary, and ended up beating him by 11 points," South pointed out to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jackson West has heard even some Newsom admirers lamenting that he probably won't win.

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