Part of the Bay Area News Group

Second CD10 poll reveals weak name IDs

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 1:57 pm in Congressional District 10, Ellen Tauscher.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

Former BART director Dan Richard

Former BART director Dan Richard

A poll commissioned by potential Democratic congressional candidate and former BART Director Dan Richard shows state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier in statistical dead heat with Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (15 and 13 percent respectively) and Richard trailing at 7 percent.

Nearly 40 percent of those polled had no opinion about who should replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a Democratic congresswoman from Alamo who has accepted an under secretary post in the U.S. State Department.

Veteran Democratic pollster Jim Moore conducted the telephone survey of 400 likely voters over the weekend. It has an error rate of plus/minus 5 percent.

Richard says his third-place finish is “about what I expected for a guy who hasn’t been in  public office for four years.” Richard left the BART board in 2004.

But Richard says he was surprised at the relatively low numbers for DeSaulnier, who has held public office in Contra Costa County since 1991, and Buchanan, who just came off a high-profile contested campaign for her Assembly seat.

The poll showed DeSaulnier with a 19 percent favorable approval rating compared with a 9 percent unfavorable while 23 percent did not know. The remaining 49 percent said they had never heard of him. Ouch.

Buchanan received similar numbers: 16 percent favorable approval, 8 percent unfavorable, 29 percent didn’t know and 47 percent had never heard of her.

Richard ordered the poll as part of his study of whether to enter the race. And while he is not ready to say yes or no, the results do not discourage him.

“The most compelling conclusion of this poll is how little traction anybody has,” Richard says.”My problem is lackof name identification, which will take a lot of money to overcome. But if almost half the people have never heard of DeSaulnier, a politician who has been in office 18 years, or Buchanan, who just won a multi-million-dollar campaign, then what does that say about what it takes to obtain name identification?”

On the other hand, Richard rightfully notes that name identification is a double-edged sword.

If voters drop-kick the ballot measures on the May 19 special election intended to help keep the state budget upright, the state’s financial morass could deepen and leave incumbents legislators DeSaulnier and Buchanan treading water.

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  • http://CCTimes hypocriticalyes?

    Dan Richard would be the best candidate who is the most experienced considering his energy and transit background. Lawrence Livermore Lab is a crucial part of this District and what does DeSalunier know about it, probably nothing considering he never stays in one place long enough. It would do good for him to loose and not just shove himself down everyones’ throats.

  • RR

    Majority of voters don’t even realize Tauscher is leaving the House. Way too soon for a credible poll.

  • John W

    Yes, way too early for polls to mean anything. Which leads to another comment. It’s said that it could take weeks or even months for Tauscher to be confirmed. That struck me as really absurd, that the Senate can’t move any faster than that, especially for an apparently noncontroversial appointee. No wonder Obama still has so many openings. The vetting and disqualification business for non-judicial, non-lifetime, non-fixed term positions has become way too micro and out of control, regardless of which party controls the White House.

  • Rich

    Being a former BART board member isn’t exactly a strong launching pad for a run for a major political office. I can’t believe Richard could be serious.

  • Rich

    I’ve got a good slogan for Warren Rupf, if he runs for this seat.. If you love flat wages, no health care, and jobs going overseas, you’ll just love Warrn Rupf and the Republicans.

  • Rich

    If Buchanon runs she can tout her two weeks of experience in the legisalture. … In my two weeks in the California Legisalture I learned where the assembly rest tooms were, how to drop a bill in the hopper, and I successfully moved my furniture into my office. This experience, I think, qualifys me to go to DC and fight for my constituents, most of whom I really don’t know, since I’ve been in office two weeks.
    That would be Buchanon running on her record, if she runs.

  • Lani

    These polls are meaningless. What matters is money and endorsements. Voters will rally around the candidate who secures the most popular and credible support from organizations and public officials they trust. The endorsements help with raising credibility and, more importantly, money to deliver the message. Where the candidates are today matters less than where they will be after all the mail and television only money can buy. Buchanan won’t get a single significant endorsement and will likely have no money. Her candidacy will anger many and her poor showing will guarantee a primary challenge for reelection. With Tauscher, Miller, Torlakson and Labor, this is a lock for DeSaulnier.

  • Lauren Unruh

    They should have also asked about me, I’m running too.

    I might even have name recognition since I have been blogging about ending the Drug War in AlterNet for about six years. I’m a lot more popular than DeSaulnier.

    A lot of people know me and I have a base of support. I think I am going to win.

    I had a grand vision on how to do end the Drug War, including a youth movement, ecology movement, religious freedom reformation and an on-line media campaign to break through the ‘bubble.’

    I think I have been very successful so it is frustrating that Lisa V. ignores me so diligently. She asked me one time about school vouchers and has refused to talk to me ever since. I guess I didn’t have the correct Catholic answer.

    Her refusal to take me seriously has lead to actual damages, not only for me, but for everybody.

    I had a PLAN to end war,

    globally.

  • RR

    Who is Laura Unrah?

  • Lauren Unruh

    My name is Lauren Unruh.

    Spelling canididates names wrong is an old trick the newspaper business does to marginalize talent they do not like or approve of.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Ms. Unruh: FYI. The comment where your name was misspelled was submitted by a reader and not someone at the CCTIMES. If you are serious about entering the CD10 race, I would really like to talk with you. Please give me a call at 925-945-4773. Lisa Vorderbrueggen