Poll shows Canciamilla, DeSaulnier neck-in-neck

A poll in Senate District 7 shows the two current candidates, former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg and current Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, in a statistical dead heat. (Click here for a map of the district, which encompasses Contra Costa County.)

The survey of 400 likely voters in late May found that if the election were held on that day, DeSaulnier would receive 33 percent to Canciamilla’s 32 percent.

In other results, 30 percent of those who were polled said they were much more likely to vote for an environmental leader, twice as high as other categories such as educational or business leaders.

When it came to favorability ratings, though, Canciamilla slightly edged out DeSaulnier, 31 to 29 percent. The incumbent, Sen. Tom Torlakson of Antioch, received a 48 percent favorability rating, while 53 percent gave the Legislature a thumb’s up.

The biggest loser in this poll was President George Bush, who received an 89 percent unfavorable rating in Senate District 7. Ouch.

Canciamilla’s campaign commissioned the poll, which was conducted by J-MAIL Research and had an error rate of plus or minus 5 percent.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I didn’t get to see the whole poll, which asked a wide range of questions, both positive and negative, about Canciamilla and DeSaulnier.

Polls such as these are part of the strategy as the campaigns gear up for how they will package their candidates and exploit their opponents’ weaknesses.

And leaking certain portions of those polls to reporters? Well, that’s strategy, too.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen