Polls released by Guerra, Nguyen offer starkly different narratives in District 10 Assembly race

As often happens in competitive political campaigns, candidates and their political operatives present conflicting information suited to bol...

As often happens in competitive political campaigns, candidates and their political operatives present conflicting information suited to bolster their claims. The race for the California Assembly District 10 between Democrats Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra and Elk Grove City Councilmember Stephanie Nguyen is a case in point.

Yesterday both campaigns released internal polling data showing their candidates were leading in polls. 

The first campaign to release their finding was Nguyen's. Her data showed findings before and after results.

Before hearing the favorable information about the candidate, Nguyen was favorably viewed by 28 percent of the likely voters. The number of respondents in the poll, conducted in early September, was not disclosed.

After hearing Nguyen's campaign messaging, the poll, conducted by FM3, saw her support among the participants jump to 40 percent compared to Guerra, who went from 24 to 33 percent. Nguyen's poll also showed the pool of undecided voters went from 48 percent to 27 percent.

"The race for AD10 begins wide-open, with a slight advantage for Nguyen and nearly half of likely voters still undecided. However, once voters learn more about the candidates, Stephanie Nguyen emerges as the clear leader with a strong chance of victory in November," FM3 Research claimed.

Hours after Nguyen's campaign released its data, Guerra released their findings. Not surprisingly, those results show Guerra well positioned.

The data noted that while the race remains close, after "balanced positive information about the two candidates taken from the ballot statement and June voter communication," Guerra surged to a seven percent lead. Guerra's poll was conducted from late July through early August by EMC.

"The race for 10th Assembly District is a dead heat," EMC President Ruth Bernstein said. "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 five [percent] point lead over Nguyen."

Bernstein also addressed a question political observers of this race have raised. Given there are two Democratic candidates, will Republican voters support either candidate? 

Bernstein stated, "After excluding the 60 percent of mostly Republicans who say they will not vote for either Democrat in this race, Guerra surges to a clear majority with a 52 percent to 46percent lead." Guerra's press release did not disclose totals for Nguyen.  

Expanding on the role of Republican voters and district demographics, the press release stated:

The new Assembly District 10 is neither a City of Sacramento seat nor an Elk Grove seat. Elk Grove and the City of Sacramento have nearly the same number of voters– and when you look at just the Democratic vote, it is even closer because Elk Grove has a higher percentage of Republicans. The population of the district is almost evenly split between Latinos and members of the AAPI communities. 

Neither campaign released the questions posed to respondents are the pool size. 

The campaigns highlighted their polling results and emphasized endorsements in their press releases. Nguyen noted her campaign is endorsed by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and the National Women's Political Caucus. 

Likewise, Guerra pointed to endorsements from U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, the California Democratic Party, and Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte. 

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