Local Elections

Fresno's Mayoral Race Tied

Monday, August 11, 2008

With 12 weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows there's no early leader in the Fresno mayor's race. Our Exclusive Action News Survey conducted by SurveyUSA shows Economic Development Expert Ashley Swearengin with 47% of the vote, and City Councilmember Henry T. Perea with 43%. But with 10 of the 572 likely voters polled undecided, and a 4.2% margin of error, the race is a dead heat.

The poll indicates both Swearengin and Perea have very good positions in the race. But according to ABC 30's Political Analyst trying to break the tie might require a change in strategy.

Ashley Swearengin welcomes the slight edge, "I'm real excited. This good news I'm please to see our message is getting out." Henry Perea is reserved, "The numbers don't concern me. There are going to be polls conducted every week between now and election day."

The Exclusive Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows the candidates are clearly neck and neck. But there is a big difference in where their support is coming from. Swearengin has 59% of the white voters polled- Perea has 32%. But Perea does better among minority voters. He got the majority of Hispanics, Blacks and Asians who were polled.

ABC 30 Political Analyst Tony Capozzi said, "What it's going to come down to in November is the turn out. Who's going to get out to vote. It will be a large turn out because of the presidential election."

Capozzi said for a candidate to win he or she should focus on who they have, instead of who they don't have, "I think what they need to do is shore up their base and get into their base, expand their base to get them out to vote."

Former Mayoral Candidate Jerry Duncan is also playing a big role. The poll indicates most of his supporters are going to Swearengin. Not too shocking since results from the June Primary show the city is split with the north going to Swearengin and south supporting Perea. Perea said, "I believe everybody is play in this election. We're going go out there and make our case to the voters and let them know this isn't about the north versus south. It's about us coming together on a common agenda."

Swearengin said, "I think it's both. You certainly can't take for granted your base support but there are a lot of undecideds in this race, and I know Henry and I will be fighting vigorously to get their attention."

The race for mayor should begin to heat up after Labor Day. That's when both candidates will begin debates and detailing their positions.

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