Press Release: New Polling Shows Liccardo as the Clear Frontrunner in Campaign for Congress

Liccardo has twice the support of his two closest competitors combined

SAN JOSE – A new public opinion poll in California’s 16th Congressional District shows Sam Liccardo, the former Mayor of San Jose, launching his campaign with a significant lead over his closest competitors.

The survey of 500 likely voters conducted by Lake Research Partners from December 2 to December 6 shows Liccardo starting the campaign with 25% of the vote, County Supervisor Joe Simitian with 14% of the vote and outgoing State Assemblyman Evan Low with 10% of the vote.

On the initial ballot question Lake Research reports: “On an initial ballot with no additional information other than party registration and likely ballot designation, Liccardo leads his likely opponents with 25% of the vote, capturing as many votes as the next two leading Democrats combined – Simitian (14%) and Low (10%). Other Democrats, including Kumar (6%), Lythcott Haims (3%), tech executive Peter Dixon (1%), and researcher Joby Bernstein (1%) trail by wider margins. Republicans Peter Ohtaki (6%) and Karl Ryan (6%) account for the balance of votes, with 27% of the voters undecided.”

The Lake data also shows that after brief descriptions of the candidates matching their own positive biographies (information that voters will see in their ballot handbooks) Liccardo’s lead grows to 14% over his closest competitor.

The Lake Research team, one of the nation’s leading public opinion pollsters, reports that Liccardo also has a substantial lead in name recognition. Lake Research reports: “Liccardo is the best-known candidate across the 16th District, with 83% of likely primary voters familiar with him, compared to 72% for Saratoga City Councilmember Rishi Kumar, 66% for Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, 59% for California Assemblymember Evan Low, and 40% for Palo Alto City Councilmember Lythcott-Haims.”

The Lake Research team concluded from their findings: “Liccardo is clearly the front-runner in this multi-candidate race, and with his double-digit margin and only 13% of the voters undecided after introductions, there is little room for any Democrat in this multi-candidate race to overtake Liccardo if he has the resources to campaign and communicate effectively about his successful record as mayor and agenda as a member of Congress.”

Liccardo said, despite the positive poll results, his campaign was “taking nothing for granted and staying focused on the issues that matter most, including making sure Congress is acting faster and smarter on fighting crime, reducing homelessness and getting the rising cost of living under control.”

Liccardo is a former criminal prosecutor who served 8 years as Mayor of San Jose. He currently teaches at Stanford about innovative approaches to reduce street homelessness. As mayor he worked to implement more efficient ways to house the homeless while providing them with jobs cleaning the city to start them on the path to financial stability.

He worked with all sides to craft voter-approved measures that saved taxpayers $3 billion, balanced budgets, built affordable housing, added police, repaved 1,000 miles of roads, and helped lead efforts to electrify Caltrain. He developed national models for delivering lower-cost clean energy, providing free internet to 200,000 high-need residents, and expanding college access for first-generation students. He fought PG&E’s massive rate hikes, worked with neighbors and environmentalists to defeat billionaire developers to protect our Valley’s hillsides and open spaces, and battled the gun lobby to enact the nation’s most innovative gun violence prevention measures.

Poll memo from Lake Research Partners Below:

To: Interested Parties

Fr: Bob Meadow, David Mermin, and Nikolai Schweber, Lake Research Partners

Re: Recent Polling in CA-16 Congressional Primary Race

A new Lake Research Partners poll [1] shows former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo leading the field of likely candidates in the open primary election to replace the retiring Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo.

Liccardo is the best-known candidate across the 16th District, with 83% of likely primary voters familiar with him, compared to 72% for Saratoga City Councilmember Rishi Kumar, 66% for Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, 59% for California Assemblymember Evan Low, and 40% for Palo Alto City Councilmember Lythcott-Haims.

On an initial ballot with no additional information other than party registration and likely ballot designation, Liccardo leads his likely opponents with 25% of the vote, capturing as many votes as the next two leading Democrats combined – Simitian (14%) and Low (10%). Other Democrats, including Kumar (6%), Lythcott-Haims (3%), tech executive Peter Dixon (1%), and researcher Joby Bernstein (1%) trail by wider margins. Republicans Peter Ohtaki (6%) and Karl Ryan (6%) account for the balance of votes, with 27% of the voters undecided.

Liccardo leads across all regions of the district (San Jose, South Santa Clara, North Santa Clara, and San Mateo), as well as among both men and women, Democrats, and primary-voting independents (No Party Preference and others), indicating strong regional strength outside of his San Jose base.

Additional positive information on each of the candidates does not change the fundamental dynamics of the race. While the percentage of undecideds declines to only 13%, Liccardo’s support rises to 30%, and he continues to lead each of his two major opponents by a two to one margin (Simitian 16% and Low 12%).

Liccardo is clearly the front-runner in this multi-candidate race, and with his double-digit margin and only 13% of the voters undecided after introductions, there is little room for any Democrat in this multi-candidate race to overtake Liccardo if he has the resources to campaign and communicate effectively about his successful record as mayor and agenda as a member of Congress.

[1] Lake Research Partners conducted a poll of 500 likely Primary Election voters in California’s 16th Congressional District. Live telephone interviews (cell and landline) and text-to-online interviews were conducted from December 2-6, 2023. Data are weighted slightly to reflect the likely demographic profile of the likely 2024 Primary electorate. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.4%.

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