Pollster says Pombo bad for Republican Party



Flashreport blogger Jon Fleischman posted this item late last night citing a very interesting push poll memo from the 19th Congressional District, where former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo has declared his candidacy for the seat held by retiring Rep. George Radanovich.

Dave Gilliard, the campaign consultant for the other major Republican candidate in this race, state Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced, commissioned the poll from Public Research Strategies based in Redondo Beach.

Gilliard and the pollster conclude that Pombo is bad for the Republican Party, citing high negative poll numbers after voters were informed about a variety of Pombo’s problems when he served as the 11th District representative.

“Based on these survey findings, it is our opinion that former Congressman Richard Pombo is very unlikely to win the Republican Primary in the 19th District,” the memo said. “Further, if he were to win the primary election, it is our opinion that much of the Republican base would not stay with him and make Republicans have to spend significant money to keep this Republican Congressional seat in the Republican hands even with the very comfortable registration margin.”

As Jon writes, “Who says politics isn’t a contact sport?”

Read on for Gilliard’s email, which you can find in its entirety and all of Jon’s comments on FlashReport. Or you can click through at the bottom of this post, where I have pasted the full memo text.


TO: Interested Parties

FR: Dave Gilliard

Public Opinion Strategies just completed a poll in CA 19. A memo from the pollster is attached. The bottom line is that Jeff Denham starts with strong name ID and positives as well as a significant lead on the ballot test. When voters learn of a single fact – the Radanovich endorsement of Denham – Denham’s lead over Pombo expands to 38 % to 11 %. That lead becomes insurmountable once voters learn about both major candidates. It is also clear that Richard Pombo’s candidacy is very harmful to the Republican Party in 2010.

Here is the full poll memo:







Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey of 350 likely Republican Primary Voters in California’s Congressional District from February 8th through 9th, 2010. Our sample included high propensity Republican Voters as well as Decline to State Voters who have a history of selecting the Republican Ballot in partisan primaries. The margin of error of this survey is a plus or minus 5.24%. Public Opinion Strategies is a national polling firm with offices in Alexandria, Virginia, Redondo Beach, California, and Denver, Colorado. The company has conducted research in 29 of California’s 53 Congressional districts as well as being involved in races in all 50 states.

The purpose of this research was to study the viability and vulnerability of former Congressman Richard Pombo in his bid to run in the 19th District to replace retiring Congressman George Randonovich.

Looking at initial awareness of the two primary candidates, Jeff Denham and Richard Pombo, Denham has a favorable to unfavorable rating of 43% to 6% while Pombo has a favorable to unfavorable rating of 24% to 10%. Thirty-nine percent (39%) had never heard of Pombo while only twenty-seven percent (27%) had never heard of Denham.

When looking at the first ballot test in the district, before anything was discussed about either of these candidates, Jeff Denham received 28% of the vote as compared to 12% for Pombo. When voters were made aware that Congressman George Randonovich was supporting Denham, his ballot percentage rose to 38% while Pombo dropped to 11%. In testing the support of Congressman Devin Nunes for Richard Pombo, 59% of the district’s likely Republican Primary Voters said they would be “LESS LIKELY” to vote for Pombo because of this endorsement while only 12% said they would be “MORE LIKELY” to vote for former Congressman Pombo based on this endorsement.

One of the key messages that Richard Pombo is campaigning on is his experience in Washington and ability to once again have his seniority and possibly a chairmanship in the House of Representatives. When the respondents were asked about the importance of the next member of Congress from this district, “having been a member of Congress in the past,” the response was 6% found this “VERY IMPORTANT” and 28% found it “NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL.”

And, when this issue was addressed later in the survey directly ( “Former Congressman Pombo says he is the best choice for Congress because he will have more seniority than any other candidate and will be able to become a Committee Chair with the ability to deliver more for the district, especially on the water issues”) participants in the survey gave the statement a 15% “MORE LIKELY” to vote for him for and a 65% ” LESS LIKELY” to vote for him.

Another issue that is definitely going to be at the forefront of this election is the ethical behavior of those seeking the office. In the early portion of the survey, the respondents were again asked the importance of the next member of Congress, “having high ethical standards.” They gave this question a 77% “VERY IMPORTANT” rating. And, once again, when addressing this directly in regard to former Congressman Pombo and reading them the following statement, {“In 2006, the group “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics ” in Washington named Pombo as one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress”) Pombo received a 80% “LESS LIKELY” to vote for him rating.

The survey also tested former Congressman Pombo’s dedication to “property rights” which garnered him a 57% MORE LIKELY to vote for him rating and a 25% LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating. Further, his dedication to the water issues and working for the Westland Water District brought him only a 25% MORE LIKELY rating and 45% MUCH LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating.

On some other issues, again with the goal to find out if he is vulnerable on key issues in this race to replace Congressman Randonovich, we tested Pombo having represented a totally different district before and having been defeated in that district. This received a 68% LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating. Further, we tested his having his staff assist with his campaigns and being on the Government payroll and that received a 89% LESS LIKELY rating. Also, we tested Pombo having once signed the “Term Limits” pledge but then breaking his pledge, and that received a 76% LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating.

Former Congressman Pombo’s taking money from convicted lobbyist Jack Abamoff garnered a 84% LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating.

One more personal issue that was tested in checking on Pombo’s vulnerability was the fact he has paid his brother and wife over a quarter of a million dollars from his Congressional campaign. This fact caused those interviewed to give him a 82% LESS LIKELY to vote for him rating. And another personal act was Pombo’s taking a family vacations to seven National Parks, caused 87% of the voters to say they would be LESS LIKELY to vote for him.

After testing these many statements about Richard Pombo we tested the ballot again. Though there was little said about other candidates, it is worth noting that Pombo’s vote dropped from 12% to 5% with the numbers of Denham and others numbers going up significantly.

Based on these survey findings, it is our opinion that former Congressman Richard Pombo is very unlikely to win the Republican Primary in the 19th District. Further, if he were to win the primary election, it is our opinion that much of the Republican base would not stay with him and make Republicans have to spend significant money to keep this Republican Congressional seat in the Republican hands even with the very comfortable registration margin.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Chase Jiannalone

    I don’t even live in his district and I absolutely think he is fantastic for the Republicans and the State.The guy has the fortitude to do what is required of an elected representative of the people and businesses in his district and the state.Anybody who will fight the enviromaniacs and the liberals of the country gets all conservatives votes.He will win his seat in his district and he will have overwhelming support from many different districts. Times have changed.

  • Kent Melgoza

    He was instrumental in using the power of the Bush Justice Department to target hi political enemies. Baxter Dunn, Lynn Bedford for example. Pombo is bad news.

  • Bob

    Pombo is an ethics cesspool. I hope the Republcans pick him. That will turn this seat blue.


  • Dr. Browneye

    If you’re right and Richard Pombo was responsible for the Justice Department prosecuting Baxter Dunn and Lynn Bedford then good for Richard! Dunn and Bedford were proven to be corrupt elected officials who shamed the County and did a disservice to its citizens.

  • Guy

    How can you people be so ignorant?? Well, maybe because the FBI, the U.S. Attorneys and the Judge Slammed this LIE into everyone’s face through the Media and that punk of a kid, Eric Flippo, then the court placed gag orders on everyone in the case but the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, who with Orwellian and Machiavelian aid of Missinformation, Dissinformation, Doublespeak and Doublethink, That Republican Playbook idea fooled the whole world into believing THEIR lie. I know of what I speak! Between that corrupt ADA Melgoza who was marshalized by the FBI to make a republican name for HIMself, who never filed any reports from people telling the truth. Ask everyone who was interviewed by him. He was like a Nazi SS officer, demonizing everything everyone said in all of his reportes. It was WITHOUT A DOUBT, a witch hunt to overturn Lynn Bedford from winning the (D) seat, leaning the Board of Supervisor’s in an honest democratic Board. Spanos and Pombo would never stand for that, so with the aid of Local Development Attorney, Steve Herum, who admitted in an FBI report that he was one of the original people who called the FBI back in 2001. Also, ADA Melgoza and the corrupt Judge (who is PERSONAL friends wit Alex Spanos, who is also friends with George W. Bush)… Are you begining to see the connections now but may not believe my theory? Then please look up the 9th circuit court of appeals holding of U.S. v. McFall, March 9, 2009. The Judges who have NO valley connections with Pombo OR Spanos all rulled that the Judge FIXED McFalls defense, and the U.S. Attorney’s FLAT OUT “erred in their judgment”… No duh, You people all just witnessed a Local Political Cous de ta, while the FBI, the US Attorneys and the Judge with his gag orders and impropper instructions to the Jury and the unconstitutional refusal of McFall to submit sculpatory information that would have exhonorated him at the get go. Even though the Judge AND the US Attorneys knew his evidence and defense would crush the Gov’t case, exposing the Republican Conspiracy to Manipulate the outcome of a local election. They not only KNEW he was innocent, they conspired together in thought and mind to demonize EVERY SINGLE PERSON on Supervisor Lynn Bedford’s re-election campagne in an effort to so distract everyone so much, that no one would ever put it together, afterall, Tracy is filled with dumb Potegese, just like Ornalis and Pombo. This wasn’t about power plants or corruption, this was a cous. The 9th Circuit rulled that there was no crime, as it relates to their Power Plant schemes or “Political Corruption” Monte was only charged with being 6’5 feet tall and making a couple of Developers mad at him, accusing him of extorsion as a decoy distraction, to bring down Lynn Bedfords credibilty. Ornalis was even quoted at his own fundraisers as saying, “No need to worry about my oponenet, him and his friends are being investigated by the FBI. It’s all being taken care of.” He said those words back in 2002, BEFORE The FBI interveiwed Mr. Bedford in July of 2002. It’s just a matter of weeks now before the other defendants file Habeas Corpus motions in Federal court exhonorating them of all charges and convictions. Keep your eyes peeled. “What comes around, goes around.” Heads up citizens of San Joaquin County, Change is a comin’ round.

  • My conscience

    Gee Guy,

    Coup d’etat? You sound like one of Dunn’s cronies.
    The FACT IS, that most in SJ County, including BOTH the DA’s office AND the sheriff’s office ALL HIDE CORRUPTION AND FELONIES within their agency circles!
    Until this corruption is rooted out on BOTH SIDES, this corruption will continue to destroy the decency of society.
    Internal affairs at the sheriff’s office AND the DA’s office BOTH were involved in felonies cover ups. FACT!
    I KNOW the witnesses, corrupt attorneys and PIs who were DIRECTLY involved in felony crimes and subsequent cover ups COMMITTED by BOTH DEPARTMENTS and their rich cronies!!! They were laughing at the FBI for not finding out about “other internal crimes”.

    The FBIs incompetence in uncovering the REAL, DEEPER corruption, and FELONY COVER UPS was outrageous, in fact, some believe the FBI were also involved, as well as the attorney /CBS “legal rep” who was also involved in supporting Dunn’s involvement and trying to clear Dunn’s name-those guys KNOW what went on and STILL stood under the cover of BIG MONEY and kickbacks…we heard that Melgoza and/or others in that office were directly involved with kickbacks, and we were told that Willet was also involved with his wife in hiding more felonies.
    Hate to tell you, it is not just democrat or republican. it is BOTH!