Poll paid for by Antioch Councilwoman Wilson’s Assembly District 15 campaign shows her in lead

Source: Wilson for Assembly campaign

“At least 70% of voters say they have never heard of any of the Democratic candidates” – pollster FM3

Fake Republican leads before bios read to participants

“It’s two months old. The poll means nothing.” – Opponent Karen Mitchoff

By Allen D. Payton

In a January 3, 2024 press release announcing the results of a poll of 442 likely voters in the 15th Assembly District race, Antioch District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson’s campaign claims she “a recent poll conducted…demonstrates her viability as the frontrunner in the race.”

The poll conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, known as FM3 Research, from November 28th to December 3rd included interviews by phone (cell and landline) and online with randomly selected likely primary voters in California’s 15th Assembly District. The margin of sampling error for the study is +/-4.9% at the 95% confidence level; margins of error for subsamples will be higher. Due to rounding, not all totals will sum to 100%.

It shows an open playing field for candidates when first introduced to the race with 46% of voters being undecided and a fake Republic businessman leading the pack.

According to the memo by Dave Metz, Miranda Everitt, and Denny Han of FM3, “In an initial match-up, the Democratic candidates have equal shares of support — with a plurality of voters undecided. At least 70% of voters say they have never heard of any of the Democratic candidates for Assembly, or do not know enough about them to offer an opinion. No candidate starts with a meaningful advantage in name recognition or favorability.

Source: Wilson for Assembly campaign

The poll did not include the name of businesswoman and Realtor Sonia Ledo, the only Republican in the race. Instead, it included a fake Republican businessman, Dylan Silva-Briard, whose name is not on the ballot. Before Wilson’s background was shared with participants the poll shows him in the lead and Wilson in third place.

The memo further reads, “As shown in Figure 1…about one in ten voters support each Democratic candidate when presented with their names and ballot designations. Dylan Silvia-Briard, the sole Republican candidate, has 21% of the vote, while 46% of voters are undecided.”

According to the press release, “After introducing the candidates through their biographies, voters clearly support Councilmember Monica Wilson with two-thirds finding her favorable and over a quarter of voters saying they found her very favorable.”

Wilson’s campaign claims the poll shows her “with a clear lead in the race after biographies of the candidates are shared, she leads the candidates with 25% support from voters, a 14-point gain from the initial vote, a 7-point lead over her opponents and shrinks the undecideds to 19%.”

Source: Wilson for Assembly campaign

The following statement about her background was given to voters who participated in the poll:

“Monica Wilson is currently serving on the Antioch City Council, where she was the first African American
woman elected. She has championed police reform and safe neighborhoods; solutions to homelessness;
expansion of mental health response teams; and a ban on new liquor stores. She is a regional and
statewide leader in the flight against human trafficking, servicing as a program manager for a Bay Area
nonprofit battling exploitation. In the Assembly, she will focus on improving public safety, addressing
climate change, and reducing the skyrocketing cost of living. Monica is the only candidate endorsed by
the California Democratic Party, statewide labor organizations, the California Federation of Teachers,
State Controller Malia Cohen, and Christine Pelosi. Monica lives in Antioch.”

The memo on the poll claims, “Wilson’s biography is appealing to voters. As shown in Figure 3, two-thirds of voters view Wilson favorably after being presented with a brief biography. Notably, more than one-quarter (27%) say they have a ‘very favorable’ view of her with this information.”

“We have serious issues to address for our working families right now including the affordable housing and homelessness crises,” Wilson is quoted in the press release, “As a local leader, I have championed housing, addressing homelessness and job creation for our local workforce. At the state level I will continue to collaborate with our communities to create solutions for our most pressing problems.”

Asked if her campaign paid for the poll and if not, who did, neither Wilson nor her campaign responded. Metz of FM3 was also asked the same questions.

Wilson’s campaign finance report shows payment to FM3 for the poll. Source: CA Secretary of State

Wilson Campaign Paid $29,250 for Poll

Her campaign finance report, known as a 460, for the period of July 1 through Dec. 31, 2023, page 27 shows a payment to FM3 of $29,250. Asked if that was for the specific poll or includes other polling Metz said, “For this poll. That’s about the going rate.”

Not a Push Poll

Although it was paid for by Wilson’s campaign, Metz said it’s not considered a push poll. According to PoliticalDictionary.com, “A ‘push poll’ is a form of interactive marketing in which political operatives try to sway voters to believe in certain policies or candidates under the guise of an opinion poll. More akin to propaganda than an actual unbiased opinion survey, a push poll is most often used during a political campaign as part of a candidate’s election strategy or by a political party to gain advantage over a rival or rivals.”

Metz explained, “No. It’s a poll that tested people’s positions in the race. Giving people positive information about the candidates in the race. Standard practices.”

Poll Conducted Before Candidate Filing Closed

Asked why the fake Republican businessman’s name was included instead of Ledo’s he said, “The poll was done before the field (of candidates) was finalized. So, we used that name for a possible Republican candidate.”

Because incumbent Assemblyman Tim Grayson is running for State Senate instead of re-election, filing for his seat was extended until December 13, 10 days after the poll was concluded. According to the Contra Costa Elections office, Ledo didn’t pull nomination papers until Dec. 6 and filed them on the final day.

Wilson’s press release also reads, “Monica has strong support locally and statewide including a long list of endorsements including State Controller Malia Cohen, State Senators Lola Smallwood-Cuevas and Steven Bradford, Assemblymembers Mike Gipson, Chris Holden, Corey Jackson, Ash Kalra, Tina McKinnor and Lori Wilson and several dozen labor unions including the California Labor Federation, Contra Costa County Building Trades Council, National Union of Healthcare Workers, SEIU One Voice and several others.”

“Working families are getting priced out of our region and costs of living have skyrocketed,” said California Nurses Association Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, “Monica has experienced these issues herself and as Assemblymember she will fight to address pocketbook issues for the well-being of every Californian.”

“Monica is a groundbreaking leader who is recognized as a champion and trusted voice on issues like homelessness and mental health,” said State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Chris Hannan. “She understands the importance of creating and protecting jobs for Californians. Monica Wilson is the type of leader working families in Contra Costa County need in Sacramento as we struggle with inflation and a housing crisis.”

Conclusion – Wilson Well Positioned to Win Primary

The poll memo offers the following about the race from the poll results: “In conclusion, the race for the 15th Assembly District is currently wide open, with most voters initially undecided and unfamiliar with the candidates. However, after a balanced set of positive messages (a brief paragraph of information about each), Wilson takes a clear lead. Given a strong, well-funded campaign to introduce her to voters, Wilson is well-positioned to win the primary.”

Poll “Two Months Old”, “Means Nothing” Mitchoff States

When reached for comment and asked if she knew if Wilson’s campaign paid for the poll one of her opponents, former county supervisor Karen Mitchoff said, “That’s my understanding. It was done in early December. It’s two months old. The poll results showed that she was at 25%. There are four people in the race. At the time the poll was taken we were all equal at 25%. I’m sure if my bio was read that my numbers would go up or if Anamarie’s experience was read hers would, too”.

“The poll means nothing as people begin voting after they’ve been receiving their ballots in the mail,” she added.

Asked about the background on the other candidates provided to the voters polled, Metz of FM3 said they were, “short summaries taken from each candidate’s website and background. Truly positive.”

The election is Tuesday, March 5, 2023, and the two candidates with the most votes will face off in the November general election.

the attachments to this post:

Wilson AD15 460 0701-123123 p27

Microsoft Word – WinMemo.MonicaAD15.docx

Wilson poll AD15 before & after

Wilson poll AD15 favorability

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