D.A. candidate Jackie Lacey claims to have an “insurmountable” lead over rival Alan Jackson in the November runoff, based on the findings of a poll released by her campaign today.
The poll shows Lacey leading Jackson 26% to 13%, with the rest undecided. Lacey is the chief deputy D.A., and has the backing of the retiring three-term incumbent, Steve Cooley. Jackson is a prosecutor best known for obtaining a murder conviction against record producer Phil Spector.
Jackson's campaign manager, John Thomas, disputes Lacey's findings, and claims that his own poll shows Jackson within the margin of error. Whatever the difference is, it looks like the Jackson campaign will be going negative to try to erase it.
In an email, Thomas indicated that the Jackson campaign intends to target Lacey over her contradictory testimony in a union dispute.
“When voters find out that Lacey lied under oath to protect a political boss, they abandon Lacey's camp at an alarming rate,” Thomas said. “We'll have the resources to tell the real story about Ms. Lacey.”
Lacey has attributed her misstatements to “low blood sugar,” and has denied giving false testimony.
Lacey finished first in the June primary, about 8 points ahead of Jackson.
The Lacey poll of 404 likely voters was conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research. In a polling memo, the firm stated that Lacey has the lead among Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as an advantage across racial groups.
Lacey is a Democrat, and Jackson is a Republican, which also gives Lacey an edge in the November election. The Goodwin memo notes that President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 46 points in L.A. County.
“This is a virtually insurmountable advantage for Lacey — Democratic registration among likely voters is nearly two and a half times larger than GOP registration,” the memo states.
The Jackson campaign has sought to portray Lacey as a “manager,” while describing Jackson as an “experienced prosecutor.” On Monday, the Jackson campaign issued a memo that showed that — if the candidates' names are removed — voters prefer the “prosecutor” to the “manager” by 48% to 34%. The memo also noted that both candidates are “virtual unknowns.”
“It's silly to assume the election is going to be held today,” Thomas said. “Nobody knows anybody. … If anything, Alan has a leg up.”
Thomas also claimed that the Jackson campaign would significantly out-spend the Lacey campaign. The most recent fundraising report showed that Jackson had out-raised Lacey since late May by a factor of more than 5-to-1. The Jackson camp intends to run TV spots, while the Lacey campaign seems focused on mailers and slate pieces.
“We don't have any reason to believe they'll have more money than we do,” said Parke Skelton, Lacey's campaign strategist. “We'll have a fully funded campaign and be totally competitive with them. And their message won't work. … People want someone with experience to run the D.A.'s office.”