Smittcamp, Egan tout dueling polls in heated Fresno County DA's race

Posted by John Ellis on March 25, 2014 

The newest face off between incumbent Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan and challenger Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp — internal campaign polls.

On Monday, Smittcamp released a memo on an internal poll her campaign said showed “she can win this election by a significant margin if she has the resources to deliver her message to voters.”

Egan’s campaign on Tuesday called Smittcamp’s poll memo “a gross exaggeration” of the DA’s race. Her consultant, Dave Gilliard, said the Smittcamp poll numbers were “cooked to make her look viable.”

The Egan campaign then released results of their own internal poll they said showed Egan up by 16 percentage points.

This brings things to what is known in political parlance as an “informed ballot.” It’s also called a “push poll.”

What it usually means is a campaign has said some negative stuff about an opponent, and some positive things about its own candidate, and then afterward asked a poll participant who they preferred.

This “informed ballot” is what Smittcamp’s campaign says shows she can win.

“After hearing critical messages about both candidates and some positive messages about Sondergaard Smittcamp, the final ballot test of the survey finds Sondergaard Smittcamp with majority support (53%), and a 22-point point lead over Egan (31%),” her pollster said in a memo.

In her own “informed ballot,” Egan’s campaign said her lead grew from 16 percentage points over Smittcamp to 35 percentage points.

So, take your pick.

After saying critical things about an opponent (and Smittcamp, too, her own pollster says) and good things about their own candidate, Smittcamp says she’s up 53%-31% on Egan, and Egan says she’s up 54%-19% on Smittcamp.

The actual election is on June 3.

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