A new poll commissioned by Sen. Gil Cedillo shows him with a 26-point lead over incumbent Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, in a potential Democratic primary match-up.
Forty-three perecent of those who responded said they would favor Cedillo, compared to 17 percent for Perez. Another 40 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
Cedillo’s potential challenge of Perez is being used by allies of Assemblyman Kevin De Leon to try to slow down Perez’s momentum in the battle for Assembly speaker. De Leon and Perez both seeking the speaker’s job. De Leon’s backers have cautioned Assembly Democrats from electing a speaker who could potentially lose a primary, or have to spend heavily to protect his own seat.
Perez’s political consultant Douglas Herman dismissed the survey results, saying surveys at this stage of a campaign measure nothing but name identification. “Polling is like any statistic," said Herman. "You can make polling numbers say what you want them to say.”
Herman noted polls that showed Cedillo running ahead of Judy Chu in a recent race for Congress – a race that Chu won.
“This is not even a credible poll,” Herman said. “This is a poll floated by the same guy who all the polls showed would win his congressional race. And the conduct of his campaign, and the money he spent clearly shows he’s lost credibility in this district.”
Cedillo notes the Congressional district extended into the San Gabriel Valley – east of Cedillo’s downtown and East Los Angeles political base. The 46th Assembly District is almost entirely within Cedillo’s Senate district. Cedillo himself represented the district from 1998-2002, before being elected to the Senate.
The private tracking poll, conducted by the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin Metz & Associates, is dated December 2. The document obtained by Capitol Weekly did not say how many people were surveyed for the poll.
The survey was of registered votes – only 49 percent of whom said they vote in every election. Herman said that survey gives skewed results and does not accurately reflect potential June primary turn-out.
Cedillo says he is committed to running for the Assembly, whether or not Perez is speaker. Perez had been exploring a run for state Senate, but jumped into the speaker’s race at the urging of several members – including Speaker Karen Bass – this week. Bass said earlier this week that Perez has secured the backing from a majority of Assembly Democrats, but he is still shy of the 41 votes needed to make him speaker.
Cedillo and Perez have tangled in the past. Perez endorsed, and held a fundraiser for Chu in his race against Cedillo earlier this year.