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John Nienstedt, the president of Competitive Edge Research and Communication, has responded to my post yesterday about the poll in detail.

Nienstedt, in my opinion, is one of the best numbers guys in town. I’ll never forget his spot-on extrapolations of the excruciatingly long count of the ballots after the 2004 mayor’s race. For a long time, he worked for free with KPBS polling the trends and feelings of the community and a wide variety of issues. The news they produced was interesting.

We haven’t highlighted any of his polls recently on the city attorney’s race because we decided we would pass on partisan polls and his were commissioned by the Republican Party. Given Nienstedt’s track record, I’m sure they’re good numbers. But I just don’t want to have to deal with all the polls candidates and their campaigns try to flog.

Anyway, if you missed it here was one of his comments on yesterday’s post:

Scott, regarding your insight that you can’t see [Judge Jan] Goldsmith, [Council President Scott] Peters or [City Councilman Brian] Maienschein voters moving to Aguirre in November, keep in mind that there will be twice as many voters casting ballots on 11/4 as there will be on 6/3. That gives [City Attorney] Mike Aguirre a window of opportunity which I’m sure he will try to exploit. He won’t need voters to switch. His fate, and the fate of San Diego, will be in the hands of the less interested portion of the electorate.

This is an excellent point. Thanks to the infinite wisdom of the Legislature, the June 3 primary election was not tied to the presidential race. In the San Diego region, only the 52nd Congressional District will have a primary worth any major attention for those concerned with the federal government. Turnout will be extremely low.

Nienstedt’s point is that all of the people interested in voting for Barack Obama or John McCain (or Hillary Clinton?) in the November election will perhaps not have paid much attention to city politics or will remember they support Aguirre even though they weren’t motivated to come out to vote in June. And, this will be quite a force.

An interesting point. We’ll see if it plays out. Do you think it will?

SCOTT LEWIS

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