A new internal poll leaked this morning by Matt Szabo's campaign shows the candidate leading the crowded CD13 race to replace outgoing Councilman Eric Garcetti by as much as 12 percentage points.
Goodwin Simon Strategic Research surveyed 301 likely voters for the March 5 primary race, initially giving voters only the names and official ballot titles of five of the leading candidates. Based only his name and title of Deputy Mayor, Szabo led nearest competitor, Mitch O'Ferrell, by 5 points.
According to the leaked memo, Szabo's lead widened to 12 points after researchers read voters positive paragraphs about the candidates.
We told them about Choi’s excellent record delivering quality services to millions of residents and his labor background. We told them about O’Farrell’s close ties to this district as senior advisor to Councilman Garcetti. And we told them about Szabo’s experience working with and for Mayors Riordan and Villaragosa and the City Attorney. The result: a 12 point lead over O’Farrell and a 15 point lead over Choi.
Goodwin Simon conducted their survey between January 13 and January 15, 2013, using English-speaking and Spanish-speaking interviewers and both land line and wireless numbers.
They claim a margin of error of about plus or minus 5.8%
As always, such leaked internal polls should be taken with a grain of salt (campaigns don't leak polls that aren't favorable), and with up to a third of likely voters still undecided, such an early poll isn't necessarily predictive of a final outcome. However, with a whopping 12 candidates vying for the seat, this poll does give us a snapshot time as to who the most competitive candidates will be going forward in the March 5 primary.
Full disclosure: I was hired by the Szabo campaign to take photographs for the candidate last year. CD13 is not my home district, nor have I endorsed a candidate in the race.