SAN DIEGO - Kevin Faulconer has turned the mayor's race upside down in San Diego, leaping ahead of former frontrunner Nathan Fletcher, 41 percent to 28 percent, according to a new 10News/U-T San Diego poll released Sunday.
The poll asked respondents, "If the special election for San Diego mayor were today, who would you vote for?"
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According to those polled, 41 percent said Kevin Faulconer, followed by 28 percent, who said Nathan Fletcher. Seventeen percent said David Alvarez, and 7 percent said Mike Aguirre. Three percent said they would vote for another candidate not listed, and 4 percent were undecided.
A poll conducted six weeks ago found that Fletcher led by 8 points and according to another poll from three weeks ago, Fletcher was leading by 4 points. In this most recent poll, however, Fletcher trails by 13, a 17-point poll-on-poll swing to Faulconer.
Over the past six weeks, Faulconer's support has doubled among women, moderates and Independents, and his support among Hispanics has tripled.
Among the wealthiest voters, Faulconer had trailed Fletcher by 8. Now, he leads by 11, a 19-point swing. Among voters who are keen to elect a fiscally responsible mayor, Faulconer now leads Fletcher 4-to-1.
Faulconer also benefits from early voting, where he has already "banked" 48 percent of the ballots returned. Among those voters who tell SurveyUSA they have already voted, Faulconer leads by 19 points.
If support for the 2nd-tier candidates collapses as Election Day nears, if Fletcher cannot find new traction, and if Faulconer's trajectory continues, it is conceivable that Faulconer could reach the 50 percent + 1 vote that is needed to avoid a runoff. Still, a runoff is likely.
In a hypothetical runoff between Fletcher and Faulconer, Faulconer defeats Fletcher 46 percent to 41 percent.
Six weeks ago, Fletcher had led by 14 points. He now trails by 5, a swing of 19 points towards Faulconer. In the head-to-head match-up, Faulconer's entire margin of victory comes from men, where Faulconer leads by 9. Among women, the two candidates are effective even, though once, Fletcher led women by 19.
Election day is Nov. 19.
The 10News/U-T San Diego poll was conducted from Oct. 28-31 by SurveyUSA and interviewed 700 city of San Diego adults registered to vote. The margin of sampling error ranged from +/- 4.2 to 4.3 percent on the questions.