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Dorian Hargrove 8:30 a.m., May 18
A new Survey USA poll commissioned by KGTV San Diego is being touted by Carl DeMaio campaign manager Ryan Clumpner as “damning evidence that Bob Filner's latest attempt to smear Carl DeMaio has backfired.” The statement was made in a fund-raising e-mail sent to supporters this morning.
The poll questions focus on last weekend’s now-infamous Balboa Park water gun fight and the ensuing damage to the lily pond in front of the Botanical Building, as well as DeMaio opponent Bob Filner’s attempt to draw a connection between DeMaio and the damage.
Filner’s accusations are based on the fact that DeMaio’s partner Johnathan Hale operates a news site, SDGLN.com, that had promoted the water fight, which was arranged by an employee of Hale.
The exact accusation, excerpted from a Voice of San Diego article that casts doubt on the validity of Filner’s statement: “This is felony vandalism of the Crown Jewel of San Diego. Carl deMaio's (sic) partner reportedly helped to organize it. I call on Carl to condemn Jonathan (sic) Hale's criminal actions. I think voters should be concerned about someone like this playing a significant role in the next mayoral administration.”
According to the poll, which questioned 700 San Diego adults, 66 percent were aware of the water gun fight and ensuing damage, while 61 percent of those respondents were aware that Filner “has accused Mayor candidate Carl DeMaio’s partner of helping to promote the fight.”
Of the 282 respondents remaining familiar with both the incident and Filner’s comments, 51 percent said his allegation that Hale was involved in promoting the event (not the assertion that doing so was a criminal act) was unfair. Half of these respondents said the events of the last few days would have no impact on their vote, with the other 50 percent responding it would have either a minor or major impact on them.
At the end of the survey, those questioned were asked whether the incident had caused them to change their intended vote. 37 percent of respondents said they had supported and continued to support Filner, for DeMaio this number was 30 percent. Fifteen percent said they’d decided to switch from supporting Filner to backing DeMaio, and 9 percent indicated they planned to ditch DeMaio for Filner. Nine percent said they were undecided, with the final survey questions having a margin of error of six percent.