The first poll of San Diego's mayoral runoff campaign released Sunday shows Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer in a virtual dead heat.
The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of 10News and U-T San Diego, showed Faulconer leading with 47 percent to 46 percent among 515 likely voters.
The survey showed an upswing of support for Alvarez, who picked up 27.2 percent of the vote in the Nov. 19 special election to Faulconer's 42.2 percent.
"This is good news for David and the campaign," said Alvarez campaign spokesman Steven Heverly. "The momentum we saw going into the primary is continuing and David's sound leadership supporting neighborhoods continues to resonate with San Diegans."
One of the key factors in the campaign for the still unscheduled runoff election will be which candidate can pick up the most votes from supporters of third-place finisher Nathan Fletcher, who got 24.1 percent.
In the poll, Alvarez led 49 percent to 43 percent among respondents identifying themselves as political moderates. Faulconer, however, held a 54 percent to 36 percent advantage among independents.
The Faulconer campaign released a statement that read: "We're happy to continue to receive strong support from Democrats, Republicans and Independents from across San Diego. We've always believed this will be a close election but we are confident Kevin's experience, independence and proven record of being the only candidate who supports the reforms needed to move our city forward will resonate with San Diegans on Election Day."
With Alvarez having a chance to become the city's first Latino mayor, he held a 48 percent to 41 percent advantage among Hispanics, according to the poll.
On the question of which quality respondents wanted most in a candidate, 37 percent chose integrity and 25 percent leadership.
Those choosing integrity gave Alvarez a 47 percent to 46 percent margin, while those in the leadership group favored Alvarez 51 percent to 45 percent.
—City News Service