Will Republicans Decide the Dem vs. Dem Mayor's Race?

Will Republicans Decide the Dem vs. Dem Mayor's Race?

Created: 27 October, 2020
Last update: 14 August, 2022

With two Democrats running for mayor of San Diego, Republican voters will likely decide who will be our next Mayor… If they decide to vote.

As The San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier this month, the mayor’s race is in a statistical dead heat heading into the Nov. 3 election.  The SurveyUSA poll showed Democrat Todd Gloria with 39%, Democrat Barbara Bry with 38%, and nearly 24% of the electorate undecided.

Among registered Democrats, only 18% were undecided. However, 30% of Republicans were still undecided about the race featuring two Democrats for the first time in San Diego’s history.

“[Bry] leads Gloria among Republican voters 46% to 24%, and among independents 46% to 27%. Gloria, who was endorsed by the county Democratic Party, leads among Democrats 53% to 29%," The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote.

Here’s where things get interesting. The SurveyUSA poll assumed the following percentages of voter turnout:

  • 30% Republican
  • 46% Democratic
  • 23% Independent

Depending on the pollster you can expect different ideological turnout percentages, some believe Independent and Democratic turnout will be higher, some lower… But let’s assume that these percentages are correct for argument’s sake.

RELATED: In San Diego Blue Wave, GOP and Independents May Not Ride

What still remains to be seen is whether many of these “undecided” Republicans will skip the mayor’s race altogether?

If we just assume that the undecided voters polled would break the way the decided voters responded in order to project the final tally we’d get the following numbers:

  • 51% Bry
  • 49% Gloria

You get a razor-thin margin for Bry.  However, the “variables” don’t favor Bry if the things that are likely to change, do change.

Namely, if even a relatively insignificant portion of Republicans sit the mayor’s race out, Gloria wins.

Of course, there are many other factors in-play. If independents make up a higher percentage of the vote, that favors Bry. If Democrat’s ride the “Blue Wave,” that is likely to favor Gloria.

And let’s remember: Polling happens in a vacuum, elections take place in the real world. 

Early on in the race, Gloria secured the endorsement of the Democratic Party, as well as high-profile Democrats like Democratic vice presidential nominee and Sen. Kamala Harris, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to name a few.

It’s important to note that the endorsement of the Democratic Party is more than just a badge of honor, as it allows the Democratic Party to actively spend money in support of Gloria:

“In addition to the independent committees, the county Democratic Party spent about $300,000 in support of Gloria during the reporting period, Sept. 20 through Oct. 17.," The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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Gloria and his supporters have put together an impressive war chest, with 5 independent committee’s backing his campaign, compared to Bry’s one, and as the Union-Tribune reported, these independent committees are out-raising Bry’s by a margin of 4 to 1.

Both Gloria’s campaign and the independent committee’s supporting him have run television ads comparing Bry to President Donald Trump.  In addition, as reported by the OB Rag, mailers were sent in support of Todd Gloria to presumably Democratic households again linking Bry to Trump. The same committee also sent mailers to Republican households calling Bry a “Progressive”. 

The Gloria campaign has run ads comparing Bry to Trump for her opposition to a resolution that would condemn the use of federal troops if rioting were to occur in San Diego, calling her a “job killer” for her opposition to AB5, and promoting himself as the “real Democrat” for having the endorsement of the Democratic Party.

Bry has done surprisingly well raising money directly into her campaign, mostly from local San Diegans.  

“Bry had more than doubled Gloria in campaign contributions between February and June. But between July 1 and Sept. 19, Gloria raised $457,000 compared to $359,000 for Bry," the San Diego Union Tribute reported.

Furthermore, she’s self-funded 100s of thousands of dollars that she’s used to relentlessly attack Mr. Gloria for his support of the 101 Ash Street deal that the Union-Tribune Editorial Board called the “worst land deal in city history.”

The Bry Campaign has run thousands of ads on Facebook and Instagram calling out Gloria for his authorship and support of legislation that will “eliminate single-family zoning,” his co-authorship of the controversial AB5 law, and his “empty promise” to end homelessness when he ran for City Council in 2012.

In just eight days, we’ll be able to look at the only poll that matters when San Diegans cast their ballots.

For Republicans “To Bry or not to Bry,” may be the question.

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IVN San Diego Staff

IVN San Diego Staff