SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Eight months ahead of election day, and still five months away from the filing deadline, an exclusive CBS 5 KPIX-TV poll finds the front-runner in the San Francisco mayoral race is a candidate who isn’t even running – so the field remains wide open.

>> Download The Complete Poll Results Data (.pdf)

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If the ranked-choice election for mayor were held today, the poll found the five declared candidates in the race to fill the open seat vacated by Gavin Newsom, who was elected Lieutenant Governor of California, are all clustered together.

Interim Mayor Ed Lee, who so far has maintained he is not running, gets the largest number of 1st-choice votes with 17%. Lee’s support is disproportionately older, moderate, and Asian.

Behind Lee, the five declared candidates received 8-to-12 percent of 1st-choice votes. There was no meaningful statistical difference among the following 1st-place votes, which each of these candidates effectively even:

* Michaela Alioto-Pier, former Board of Supervisors member, 12%.
* Leeland Yee, State Senator, 11%.
* David Chiu, Board of Supervisors President, 10%.
* Dennis Herrera, City Attorney, 9%.
* Bevan Dufty, former Supervisor, 8%
* 1/3 of likely voters choose some other another candidate or are undecided.

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Other findings of the polling research conducted for CBS 5 by the firm SurveyUSA:

* Alioto-Pier’s support and Herrera’s support is disproportionately Hispanic.
* Alioto-Pier does better with lower-income voters. Herrera does better with upper-income voters.
* Leland Yee’s support and Chiu’s support is disproportionately Asian.
* Leland Yee does better with Conservatives and women. Chiu does better with men and college grads.
* Dufty’s support is disproportionately white and middle-aged.

Should Ed Lee not run, the question becomes where do his votes go? The poll data found:

* 24% of those who vote for Lee as 1st choice, vote for Chiu as 2nd choice.
* 19% of those who vote for Ed Lee as 1st choice, vote for Alioto-Pier as 2nd choice.
* 15% of those who vote for Ed Lee as 1st choice, vote for Herrera as 2nd choice.

The CBS 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA interviewed 544 likely registered voters from the city of San Francisco on March 10-11 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.3%.

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