A new poll commissioned by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is showing a tight Oakland mayor's race with a little more than six weeks to go until Election Day. Ex-state Senator Don Perata leads Councilwoman Jean Quan, 26 percent to 22 percent, with Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan in third with 12 percent, said Scott Peterson, the chamber’s public policy director. Perata also has a slight lead when counting first and second choices under the new ranked choice voting system to be used in Oakland this year. He leads with 38 percent over Quan’s 34 percent. Kaplan, again, comes in third with 18 percent. The poll included 600 Oakland registered voters and has a 4 percent margin of error, meaning that Perata’s lead over Quan falls within that margin.
The new poll, however, appears to skew toward older, white voters, which could be a glimmer of hope for Quan and Kaplan. About 50 percent of respondents were white, about 25 percent were African-American, about 6 percent were Asian, and about 5 percent were Hispanic, Peterson said. By contrast, the latest US Census estimate shows that non-Hispanic whites make up just 25.4 percent of Oakland’s population. Blacks make up 29.5 percent, Hispanics make up 25.2 percent, and Asians make up 15.4 percent. In addition, about 67 percent of the new poll’s respondents were 45 or older. Quan is banking on a strong Asian-American turnout in the election, while Kaplan hopes to attract younger voters.
Nevertheless, the new poll shows a much tighter race than a previous poll commissioned this summer by KPIX — Channel 5. That poll showed Perata way out in front, leading Quan 41 percent to 26 percent. But that poll also skewed toward an older, white electorate. It also was an automated poll, while the new chamber poll was done with live telephone calls.
The new poll comes in advance of a debate that the chamber is sponsoring next week with the League of Women Voters and the Bay Area Business Roundtable. The forum will be 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, September 23 at Kaiser Center Auditorium, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland.