OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A new poll finds Oakland city council members Loren Taylor and Sheng Thao in an extremely tight race for mayor.
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce poll finds that of the 604 residents surveyed Taylor and Thao are neck and neck both receiving about 34% support over first, second and third choices.
“It’s going to come down to between now and the next 20 days. It’s going to be how voters feel, really about where they are and what these candidates represent to them in terms of what they hope they’ll be able to do in city hall, but I don’t think any of them have high hopes that they will actually change radically over the next year or so especially with the economy being the way it is,” said Michael Yaki, KRON4 political analyst.
Running third in the mayoral poll is former councilmember Ignacio de la Fuente who experts say you cannot count out because Oakland uses rank-choice voting.
“With ranked-choice voting, the literal history of the Bay Area is littered with people who finished first in the first round, but then went on to lose because the person who finished second was a higher rank choice for all the people who dropped out early so it’s too early to say, who’s going to win,” said Yaki.
Rank-choice voting played the deciding role in Oakland’s 2010 mayoral election. In the initial count, former state senator, Don Perata, had 11,000 more first place votes than councilmember Jean Quan.
He did not have more than half the vote which is needed to win. When second and third choice votes were counted, Quan had more than half the vote with a 2,000-vote lead and emerged victorious.
That is why political analysts said the next three weeks will not only be filled with campaigning for the people’s vote, but also to see who other candidates will endorse as a second choice.
“I Imagine that there’s going to be a lot of deal making going on between now and the next three weeks to try and get people to sort of decide who’s going to be their second choice of the three frontrunners,” said Yaki.