SAN DIEGO - Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez are effectively even, with 47 percent for Faulconer and 46 percent for Alvarez, according to an exclusive 10News/U-T San Diego poll released Sunday morning.
10News pollster Jay Leve, who is with SurveyUSA, cautions against drawing any conclusions with about two months to go before the runoff.
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"Don't be confused that this poll should be used to predict the outcome of this election. As you recall, the first poll in the mayor's race back in September showed Nathan Fletcher in the lead. We all know what happened there. The first poll is often very different than the last poll," he said.
Support for each is pretty predictable. Though it is a non-partisan race, party support follows party lines. Democrats are backing Alvarez. Republicans are backing Faulconer.
Faulconer is also strong among seniors and whites. Alvarez is stronger among Hispanics and voters from 35 to 49 years of age.
Leve says independents will decide who wins. They slightly favor Faulconer 3-to-2. In the November election, independents went for Faulconer 2-to-1.
To win, Leve says, "Alvarez doesn't have to win the independents. He just needs to chip away at Faulconer's advantage."
As for Faulconer, Leve says he has to build on his lead among independents to what he had in the special election.
In this 10News/U-T San Diego poll, likely voters say integrity is the most important quality for a new mayor after the scandal that brought down former Mayor Bob Filner.
Election Day will be Feb. 4 or 11.
The San Diego City Council will decide once the special election results are certified by the Registrar of Voters.
The 10News/U-T San Diego poll was conducted from Dec. 2 through Dec. 5 by SurveyUSA, and interviewed 800 city of San Diego adults. The margin of sampling error was +/- 4.4 percent on the questions
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