Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
Questions raised over the accuracy of U-T San Diego's recent mayoral poll
Bob Filner's camp continues to cast doubt on the results from a recent U-T San Diego and University of San Diego poll that showed Councilmember Carl DeMaio with a ten-point advantage in the mayoral race.
The results have raised concerns that U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester and his second-in-command John Lynch are attempting to influence the election.
“The U-T poll results are at odds with other polls conducted during the same time frame, which have shown Bob Filner either ahead or in a dead heat with Carl DeMaio. It appears that the only thing the UT’s poll results are consistent with is a pattern of bias in favor of DeMaio already evident in Manchester’s editorial and news coverage," writes Filner's chief strategist Tom Shepard.
Shepard points to an October 17 poll commissioned by the San Diego Republican Party which found that DeMaio and Filner were deadlocked at 43 percent.
Manchester being a major donor to the University of San Diego -- his name appears on the executive conference center -- doesn't help matters and neither does the fact that members of USD's board of trustees including the Chairman Ron Fowler have also come out in support of DeMaio.
But Scott Himelstein, Director of the Center for Education Law and Policy at the University of San Diego said he personally selected the Washington DC- based research firm, the Glover Park Group, to conduct the poll because the firm was not affiliated with any specific candidate.
"We didn't do any of the work, so to speak, but we co-sponsored it," said Himelstein in an October 22 phone interview.
"I went to great pains to make sure that the polling firm was not affiliated with either candidate. I am the one who made the recommendation to go with Glover Park Group and the U-T later agreed."
And while the poll was paid for by both the U-T and the University of San Diego, Himelstein would not comment on who paid the lion's share of the poll.
"It wasn't half and half but I'm really not at liberty to disclose the financial agreement," Himelstein said during an October 22 phone interview. "We paid a portion of it."
Filner's camp remains unconvinced.
"Manchester, his business associates and family have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in in support of DeMaio’s political ambitions. At this point, it appears Manchester and the U-T are prepared to do just about anything to get DeMaio elected mayor.”
More like this:
- DeMaio gets campaign fund payback — July 10, 2014
- Papa Doug hasn't forgotten Carl D. — Oct. 10, 2013
- Downtown lobbyist fundraiser raked in $9,000 for Filner, filing shows — May 1, 2013
- "G-U-I-L-T-Y": Filner camp accuses DeMaio of secret meetings with U-T brass on Facebook — Oct. 6, 2012
- Poll Shows DeMaio In The Lead For Mayor — Sept. 15, 2011