Polls Show Local Races up for Grabs; National Parties Ante Up

DCCC reserves $1.65 million from national funds, NRCC pledges $1.6 million to Bilbray

It’s the end of July, and some important political races in San Diego are beginning to heat up.  Two polls released yesterday started to bring both the San Diego mayoral race and the 52nd District Congressional race into focus for the general election campaign.

According to a report by Roll Call, a Washington, DC based publication, the race between Democratic Challenger Scott Peters and Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray is a dead heat with each candidate receiving 40% of the projected vote.  The poll showed a significant 19% of those questioned as undecided.

In a sign of just how seriously national Democrats are taking this race, it was announced yesterday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has committed $1.65 million to Scott Peters in his effort to unseat Republican incumbent 52nd District in San Diego.  That will match the $1.6 million the National Republican Congressional Committee has committed to aid Bilbray.  The NRCC has dedicated $4.7 million in total to protect seats in play in both San Diego and Sacramento.

Bilbray is viewed as one of the most vulnerable Republicans running for reelection to Congress, and the seat is viewed as one of the key races in the Democrats’ longshot effort to retake a majority in the lower chamber.  Redistricting has made the race particularly enticing for national Dems, since Bilbray was moved from his former 50th district where Republicans held a nearly 10 point registration advantage to a district where the Republican advantage is narrowed to three percentage points.  With 27% of the district registered as “decline to state” and the polls even at 40% apiece, the race is anybody’s to win at this point.

The NRCC has already reserved $1.6 million in television advertising on Bilbray’s behalf, and the Peters campaign said last week that they had reserved $1.5 million in ads themselves.  It is unclear as of now whether the DCCC money will be used in addition to what the campaign has already committed, or if the campaign will apply it to their already established ad buy.

Mayoral race close

As reported by the SDFP’s Doug Porter yesterday, in the race to determine who will serve as San Diego’s next mayor a poll released yesterday showed Democratic Congressman Bob Filner with an eight point lead over Republican City Council member Carl DeMaio.

The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Fairbanks, Maslin, Maulin, Metz and Associates, shows Filner with a 40% to 32% advantage over DeMaio.  However, the poll also showed 29% of those surveyed as undecided.  With a sample size of 400, and a margin of error of over 4%, the race is a far cry from being determined.  According to the survey, the polling results broke almost exactly along party lines, with the 29% undecided mirroring the 29% of voters registering as “decline to state” within the city of San Diego.

Update:  The Peters campaign has informed the SDFP that the DCCC funds will be used in addition to the $1.5 million the campaign has already committed to spend on TV.




Andy Cohen

Andy spent 15 years working in the highest levels of the San Diego professional sports world, including both the Padres and the Chargers. He began his foray into writing while a volunteer for Francine Busby's 2010 Congressional campaign, eventually becoming a contributor to the now defunct SDNN. He has reported on local and national politics for both the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press. When not reporting news and events, he offers political and policy commentary from a liberal perspective, occasionally turning back to his sports roots. While he does not hide his more liberal political bent, Andy always strives for fairness in the telling of a story.