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Panel: Secret Shock Poll Could Shake Up SB Mayor's Race -- More: Housing, Recall, Covid...


Forget the Gavin Newsom recall, the big buzz among political insiders in Santa Barbara this week was over a city election poll quietly commissioned by downtown business interests.


The survey, and its possible impacts on the wide-open SB mayor's race, also was Topic A on this week's episode of Newsmakers TV, as Nick Welsh of the Independent and Noozhawk's Josh Molina joined the genial host for a special Mansplaining Edition.


The results of the poll, based on interviews with 359 city residents conducted in early August, came to light as part of an email sent out by downtown real estate kingpin Jim Knell to like-minded souls, seeking financial support for an independent, pro-business campaign effort by a new group to be called the "Santa Barbara Better Committee."


Along with every other political reporter in town, Newsmakers obtained a copy of the email, to which was attached a power point slide deck presentation, prepared by über-public affairs consultant John Davies, that included some surprising top line numbers on the mayor's race:


Randy Rowse. 27%

Cathy Murillo 11

James Joyce 7

Deborah Schwartz 4

"Someone new, unsure who" 26

Don't know 25


As a political matter, there obviously are many unknowns about the poll's questions and its methodology; as a practical matter, it's useful, not only as a single data point about the race, but also as a marker of where the city's institutional business community may be headed.


While many leaders in the real estate and business community originally favored Schwartz, the polling on behalf of an effort to consolidate behind a candidate may lead some to "throw Deborah under the bus" in favor of Rowse, as one esteemed panelist put it, while another noted that it's getting awfully late for Joyce to make a move and disrupt what looks like a two person race between Cathy and Randy, with just over six weeks left until Election Day.


Plus: the latest on Covid; an update on the 711 Milpas project, final thoughts on the failed recall of Prince Gavin and what the governor's signature on Friday approving Senate Bills 9 and 10, two controversial housing measures that take away much local control over zoning, will mean for Santa Barbara.


If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV, all here, right now.


Check out the new show via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The audio version is here.







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