Poll: Kaplan Building on Lead in Oakland Mayor’s Race, Brown ‘Bump’ for Schaaf

With less than three weeks until Election Day, a third consecutive polls predicts a comfortable lead for Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. PHOTO/Steven Tavares

OAKLAND | MAYOR | Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is maintaining a lead over Mayor Jean Quan and Councilmember Libby Schaaf, according to a new poll released Wednesday. The poll also finds Kaplan would beat Schaaf by more than 17 points, 58-41 percent, when ranked-choice votes are tabulated. The final result in this latest survey, however, may reveal a surge by Schaaf with less than three weeks before Election day. Previous polls, showed Kaplan defeating Quan in the final round.

Libby Schaaf appears to have been the
beneficiary of a Jerry Brown “bump” in
the polls. PHOTO/Steven Tavares

Last week, Schaaf received the high-profile endorsement of Gov. Jerry Brown and Tuesday night she received the backing of the East Bay Express, city’s progressive newspaper of record. The latter, which occurred during the middle of polling from Oct. 5-Oct. 9, noted a significant bump to Schaaf’s numbers, as much as 8 percent in first-place votes, according the survey, commissioned by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

The poll found Kaplan leads in the first round with 21 percent, followed by Quan, 17 percent; Schaaf 14 percent; Dan Siegel 9 percent; Joe Tuman, 8 percent; along with Courtney Ruby and Bryan Parker at 4 percent.

The second tier of candidates in the 15-person field is lead by Charles Williams and Eric Wilson with 3 percent; Jason Anderson, Saied Karamooz and Peter Liu with 2 percent; Patrick McCullough and Ken Houston at 1 percent and Nancy Sidebotham registering support below 1 percent.

While Kaplan remains atop the polls—two other surveys found similar results—the poll notes her high name-recognition among voters following two at-large council race in the last four years, may have plateaued. Schaaf’s name I.D., meanwhile, is rising, according to the poll, as more Oakland voters become engaged in the fall election. Just 21 percent of the 500 likely voters interviewed said they are undecided, according to the survey. The figure is down from the 39 percent of undecided voters identified in a poll from September.

The state of Quan’s fight for re-election is muddled, according to the poll. For the first time since 2005, the city’s right direction-wrong track numbers are positive. Forty-five percent of respondents said Oakland is moving in the right direction, while 37 percent said it is not. The findings are significant and especially positive for an incumbent like Quan. However, the poll also found her negatives as mayor still stubbornly low.

If Quan is shut out of the final top two, presumably to the benefit of Kaplan and Schaaf, Quan’s supporters could determine the next mayor. The survey shows more of Quan’s voters supported Kaplan over Schaaf. Such a results would be a role-reversal to four years ago when Kaplan vaulted Quan over Don Perata and into the mayor’s office.

However, the poll also suggests another kingmaker on Nov. 4 could be Joe Tuman. The university professor and former television analyst is somewhat a ideological twin to Schaaf for many of his supporters. Tuman, according to the poll finishes fifth in first round with eight percent. But, Tuman’s share of second place votes ranks third behind Kaplan and Schaaf. Furthermore, his third place votes are tied with Kaplan for first.

Categories: Chamber of Commerce, Don Perata, Jean Quan, Jerry Brown, Joe Tuman, Libby Schaaf, Oakland, oakland mayor, polling

26 replies

  1. With IRV, I would suggest caution in tabulating polls-hold on for an interesting ride–Tony Santos
    PS: interesting I had two Oakland residents tell me they are voting for Tuman-


  2. Poorly-educated poll “readers” need exactly what they lack. An education in statistics and scientific method.

    I agree with Tony Santos–get ready for an interesting ride. In my neighborhood, ethnically and economically diverse, full of longtime Oaklanders and young newcomers, there is one Quan sign, one Schaaf sign and three Tumans.


  3. A bump is something that goes up very quickly and down just as fast.


  4. The winner will be a woman and Kaplan has won ALL the polls!


  5. “The winner will be a woman and Kaplan has won ALL the polls!”

    For the statistically illiterate–all the polls tell us very little.

    One statistic is meaningful, however. Three women, Quan, Schaaf and Kaplan are all longtime inner circle members so if one of them is elected, we can expect nothing new.

    Nothing new is absolutely nothing new in Oakland.


  6. Most of the women running are equally good at avoiding the truth. The single exception being Courtney Ruby.


  7. It will be Kaplan first, and either Schaff or Quan second. The men are all in single digits and out of time, as well as out of the race. They have too big an obstacle % wise to make up. Ruby is polling 4% lol.


  8. “It will be Kaplan first, and either Schaff or Quan second. The men…”

    One of those crystal ball types with extra eye shadow jn a gypsy costume. Halloween isn't for a coupla weeks.


  9. “It will be Kaplan first, and either Schaff or Quan second.”

    Seems obvious at this point. Have there been any polls that didn't have Kaplan winning? I can't recall any.


  10. “Seems obvious at this point. Have there been any polls..”

    Polls are not reliable because they are telephone-based (cell or landline) and with caller ID most respondents don't respond. Look it up.

    Local Oakland polls have additional problems in that they all reveal a high level of undecided voters, in some cases well in excess of 50%.

    As Yogi put it “predictions are very hard to make, especially about the future.” This hasn't changed despite claims of “objectivity” or “statistical validity.” Polls are often just plain wrong and Oakland's polls thus far are shot full of holes.


  11. “Polls are often just plain wrong and Oakland's polls thus far are shot full of holes.”

    Polls are political tools used strategically for specific political purposes by the organizations/corporations who fund them. Political polls are NOT about finding out who is most likely to be elected. Political polls are all about public relations and convincing a gullible public that, for example, their vote won't matter because the outcome has already been determined.

    You need to look carefully at who funded any poll before drawing a conclusion about the results of the poll and the political strategy of the funder.


  12. These polls are meaningless. For real leadership, take a good look at Liu. http://oaklandwiki.org/peter_y._liu


  13. Polls are pretty accurate even though you may not want to admit it. All the polls are in agreement and there are only 3 candidates polling in double figures. The last poll was pretty conclusive and if you have single digits in the middle of October you can kiss your chances goodbye. If you are below 5% you are wasting your money and shouldn't have run in the first place. Liu at 2% is a joke and won't even finish in the top half of candidates. He's being rejected by the voters as well as most of the others.


  14. “Polls are pretty accurate…”

    Depends on the poll. Very little useful information has been provided about the Oakland mayoral election polls. For good reason–the polls were all sponsored by vested interest groups. The leading candidates in the polls, Schaaf, Quan, Kaplan are all heavily funded by business groups because these groups know very well that these candidates will support their interests above all else.


  15. A little more thoughtful guess, based on the RCV votes last time and less influenced by the poll-loving media:

    Quan and Kaplan are out. Few voters really like Quan other than her devoted followers. Kaplan also has a devoted, noncritical set, but there is very little in her record to suggest she's a good fit. Schaaf may be the one to beat, with the most (out-of-town, corporate) money. But Schaaf bears the heavy negative burden of having been in city hall for a decade with very little to show as well as being one of the most temperamentally conservative and risk-averse candidates.

    My guess is that Schaaf has the largest plurality in the first count, with Tuman winning because of many second and third choice votes.

    It would be interesting for RCV to produce change in Oakland rather to maintain its reputation as anti-change.


  16. That may be your wish but all the polls, and there have been many, show Tuman is done. Kaplan has increased her lead and the only two that have a chance against her are Quan and Schaaf. These polls have been done by many outside groups and they all show the same winner plus the same two competitors. They have had a margin of error of 3-5%, but the trend has been the same. You can count on one of the three women winning and it looks like Kaplan is pulling away from the rest of the pack.


  17. Anonymous says: October 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM…”all the polls.”

    If polls were reliable, and as many miscreants deeply believed in them as you do, there would be little use for actual voting.

    Read a little political history and you will discover that one of the main purposes of polling masquerade is totalitarian, to discourage democratic process. Heil Hitler!


  18. I agree with the comment at 4:26.

    If polls are reliable, they are only so insofar as they are up-to-date. Voters change their minds, especially when, as in this Oakland election, there are a majority of undecided voters.

    And the purpose of people saying that polls are to be taken as holy scripture is often to discourage others from voting. That's pretty contemptable.


  19. “To discourage others from voting…”

    In fact there are laws about this. The most accurate polls are those taken after voters have voted. By law the results of these polls cannot be made public until after election hours are over.


  20. Here's a poll by KPIX-where Tuman works, I think. It shows the same thing as the private polls:

    KPIX 5 Poll: Quan Struggling In Re-Election Bid, Kaplan Has Double-Digit Lead In Oakland Mayor’s Race



  21. Kaplan wins and Tuman is toast!


  22. Farmer's Almanac, which has over a 90% correct guess record over 175 years, favors Shake Anderson and Peter Liu over the white girls and Quan.

    Sorry to disappoint you white girls.


  23. People really shouldn't be intimidated into not voting by those who suggest that their votes won't matter. It's an old Republican trick. Vote for who you think is best for Oakland and definitely do vote. It ain't over 'til it's over, whatever the naysayers say.


  24. Kaplan wins in November as all the polls show. Watch and learn.


  25. Peter Liu is on fire on twitter. He says he is the only conservative in the race with Asian backing and few Democrats too. If I was Kaplan, I'd be worried.


  26. Peter Liu only receives 3% of the vote. If you think he has a chance you must be related to him.


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