Trying to Crack the Lewis Poll Mystery

I chatted late Thursday John Lewis, the former state senator who now runs his own consultant shop in Orange County. I wanted to get more details of the poll they just released on the Sheriff's race.

Their poll, taken last week, shows a heated contest between incumbent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens at 21 percent and Bill Hunt at 20 percent.

But numbers on the other candidate, Craig Hunter, aren't included. And the sponsor of the poll isn't included either.

So what gives?

Lewis said he's only allowed to say he was "retained by an interested observer of OC politics not affiliated with any campaign."

Whoever it was doesn't want the numbers on Hunter's campaign to be known.

"He could be nipping on their heels, he could be far behind," Lewis said. "I've released what I'm at liberty to release."

Hmm...

"I'm in a mysterious mood today," Lewis added.

The other key message in these numbers, Lewis said, is that this is a race up for grabs. "Any third party could come in and make a difference," he said.

Lewis said there are a good number of undecided voters in the race.

The only other bit of cross tab information he threw out was a distinct partisan divide between Hutchens and Hunt. Hunt does well with Republicans, Lewis said. And Hutchens does even better among Democrats.

The Voice of OC/Probolsky Research poll on the Sheriff's race in early April showed Hutchens with a 15-point lead over Hunt with more than half of those polled undecided. The difference between the two polls is "enough of a variance to suggest Hunt has some momentum," Lewis said.

There's a margin of error in both polls. The Voice of OC poll talked to 326 voters with a margin of 5.6 percent. The Lewis poll talked to 400 voters with a 4.9 percent margin.

-- NORBERTO SANTANA, JR.

 

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