A poll in the 28th Senate district is raising intrigue about whether Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa may be entering the high-profile race for state office.
The poll was done by Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone and – perhaps unsurprisingly – it shows that he’s got the most favorability of those in the field.
It shows 23.2 percent of people had heard of the Temecula Republican and gave him a favorable rating. Some 44 percent of people hadn’t heard of him.
In terms of favorability, Stone was trailed by former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, a Palm Desert Republican, with 18.9 percent favorability, and Indio Councilman Glenn Miller, who had 8.3 percent favorability.
The poll also tracks the name recognition and popularity of DeRosa, who came in with 11.3 percent favorability. The poll repeatedly refers to her as a Democrat, although she has told The Desert Sun she is not affiliated with either party.
When asked about the poll and whether she’s entering the race, DeRosa played coy.
“I am so looking forward to the next election,” DeRosa said, refusing to disclose anything else.
DeRosa spent six years on the City Council before first being elected as mayor in 2004.
Stone said he hadn’t talked to DeRosa, but that his professional polling consultants decided she was the likely Democratic choice. A campaign aide added that DeRosa’s name was being discussed in Sacramento.
Stone’s poll was conducted Aug. 17-20 and it questioned 302 people. It has a 6-point margin of error, which would nullify the favorability lead that Stone has over Garcia.
Stone credited his involvement in desert organizations such as the Coachella Valley Association of Governments as boosting his name recognition here.
He entered the race later than Garcia and Miller, who have taken the early lead in terms of fundraising.
“Over the next how many months – I’m going to be spending a lot of time walking in the desert and going to chamber mixers and getting to know the business community,” Stone said.
“My fundraising will start the second week of September. I’m very confident you’ll see my numbers catch up and exceed what they’ve raised.”
Both Miller and Garcia downplayed the results of Stone’s poll.
“I’m not concerned with the poll,” said Miller, who is planning his own poll. “My game plan is to control what I can control.”
Garcia says she doesn’t plan on polling because the election is not about winning a “popularity contest.”
“The opinion polls don’t matter to me one way or another,” Garcia said. “I appreciate him spending the money to find out. … I’m going to spend my money on gas and knocking on doors.”
The 28th Senate District stretches across the Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County. It also includes the communities of Wildomar, Murrieta and Temecula.
It favors the Republicans in terms of voter registration. Because it is a new district, there is no incumbent.