10th California Assembly candidates Guerra, Nguyen release polling data showing conflicting results

Two of the leading contenders have released conflicting polling data in what is becoming a competitive primary race for California's 10th Assembly District. While the data have a common element, each camp has offered different interpretations of its proprietary data. 

The polls from Democratic candidates Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra and Elk Grove City Councilmember Stephanie Nguyen show they lead the five-candidate race. The top two finishers in the June 7 primary will advance to the November general election regardless of party affiliation. 

Poll data released by Nguyen's campaign on Tuesday evening show her with a 10-point lead over an unspecified challenger. Nguyen's poll was conducted by FM3 Research and showed her with a 10-point lead among likely voters. 

"In the past two months, our campaign for State Assembly has gained considerable momentum," Nguyen said in the statement. "This poll is a reflection of the strength of our campaign and the work that I have accomplished as an Elk Grove City Councilmember and as the Executive Director of ARI; where I work tirelessly to uplift underserved and underrepresented communities in our region."

FM3, with offices in Oakland and Los Angeles, also known as Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Matz & Associates, on their website describes themselves by saying, "we initially conducted primarily political surveys for candidate and ballot measure campaigns, we have significantly broadened our focus over the past several decades. Now, if you want to educate, influence, or better serve a specific population, we can help."

Although Nguyen's press release did not specify what candidate she would lead, Guerra is considered the other candidate. Others in the race include Democrats Dr. Tecoy Porter, Bennie Thomkims, and Republican Eric Rigard. 

Just hours after Nguyen released her polling data, Guerra's campaign released their information. Guerra's campaign showed while they were in a dead heat with Nguyen, but Guerra took the lead when poll respondents were presented with further details.  

Guerra's polling statement said the information was gathered between March 22 and 27, and initial data showed him in a dead heat with Nguyen. However, Guerra took the lead when respondents were provided basic information from their official ballot statements. 

"The race for 10th Assembly District is a dead heat," EMC President Ruth Bernstein said in the statement. "Eric Guerra is not only competitive in this race, but our poll shows that as soon as voters learn basic information about each candidate taken from the ballot statement, Eric Guerra surges to a nine-percent point lead over Nguyen."

Oakland-based EMC has a national presence with offices in Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Washington DC. Their clients include the California Democratic Party, Rep. Eric Swalwell, San Fransisco Mayor London Breed, and the ACLU.

Guerra also took the opportunity to tout his endorsements and campaign fundraising advantage. According to Guerra's statement, Guerra has a "10 to one fundraising lead as of the last reporting period. Since then the Guerra campaign reports crossing the $500,000 threshold in fundraising."

Interestingly, Guerra's data touches on one crucial aspect of the primary election - the presence of Republican Rigard. Even though Rigard does not have the financial resources of Guerra, Nguyen, or Porter, as the only Republican candidate, he is likely to attract substantial partisan support. 

Guerra's statement notes Elk Grove has more Republican voters than Sacramento's portion of the new Assembly district. In 2020, Rigard came in second place in the 9th Assembly primary race that included current Assemblymember Jim Cooper and Democratic candidate Tracie Stafford. 

Even though Rigard advanced to the November 2020 general election, Cooper won reelection by an almost two-to-one margin. While the 10th Assembly district appears less conservative than the 9th District, which included Elk Grove, Galt, Lodi, and portions of unincorporated South Sacramento County, Rigard could still act as a spoiler for Guerra or Nguyen.  

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