Credit: EdSource
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck respond to one another during a conversation with the candidates sponsored by EdSource in May 2018.
Updated: 3:30 p.m. October 31

In a just released poll on the race for state superintendent of public instruction in California, Marshall Tuck has a substantial lead over Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond.

Tuck is preferred by likely voters over Thurmond by a 48 percent to 36 percent margin, according to the online poll conducted by Berkeley IGS Poll. The poll was conducted online from Oct. 19 to Oct. 26 in English and Spanish among 1,339 likely voters.  Sixteen percent of respondents said they were undecided, or don’t plan to vote in next Tuesday’s election.

A KFI-NBC poll conducted a week earlier, showed the race as being much tighter, and within the margin of error.  In the poll of 1068 likely voters conducted via landline by the consulting firm Thomas Parker Strategies, Tuck got the support of 37.2 percent of voters, compared to Thurmond’s 34.8 percent, with 28 percent undecided.

According to the Berkeley IGS poll, Thurmond, who is endorsed by the Democratic Party, is preferred by many more Democrats — 54 percent — than Tuck. But Tuck also is getting a substantial share of support — 35 percent — from Democratic likely voters. Tuck is also preferred overwhelmingly by Republicans, in part perhaps because his opponent has been endorsed by the Democratic Party, as well as by teachers unions. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans say they will vote for Tuck, compared to only 14 percent for Thurmond.

Among independent voters, who now exceed the number of Republican voters in the state, Tuck also has more support than Thurmond — 5o percent saying they will vote for Tuck, and 30 percent for Thurmond.  The race has been characterized by massive spending, with over $50 million in combined contributions to outside independent expenditure committees and direct contributions to each candidate’s campaign.

Tuck outpaced Thurmond by a more than 2-to-1 margin in money backing his campaign, as of contributions reported by Oct. 28. By far the majority of Tuck’s support has come from outside expenditure committees — over $28 million, mostly made up of contributions from billionaires and other high wealth individuals backing charter schools.

Thurmond has received over $12 million in support from outside committees, mainly from teachers unions and other labor organizations.

Independent expenditure committees are required to conduct their activities without consulting with the candidates or any of their campaign workers.

In addition to this amount, $5.5 million was spent independently for ads and campaign mailers for Thurmond and Tuck by individuals and organizations not contributing money to a formal independent expenditure committee.

For the Berkeley IGS poll, voters were randomly selected from the state voter rolls by Political Data, Inc. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Correction: This report was updated to include the KFI-NBC poll showing the race tighter than the Berkeley IGS poll. The earlier story incorrectly stated that the Berkeley IGS poll was the first publicly released poll.

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  1. Robert D. Skeels, JD 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Vote for Tony Thurmond. Marshall Tuck’s schools were absolute bottom dwellers academically under his “leadership.” [1]

    Tuck also closed Ethnic Studies, Heritage Language Programs, Health Education, and Dual Language Immersion Programs. [2] Tuck’s agenda is hauntingly similar to that of Betsy DeVos. Tuck’s penchant for “English only” is also too Trump-like for comfort. [3]

    [1] https://www.laprogressive.com/marshall-tuck-unqualified/

    [2] http://dailybruin.com/2018/10/28/submission-marshall-tucks-track-record-proves-him-unfit-as-state-superintendent-candidate/

    [3] http://thewire.k12newsnetwork.com/2017/05/03/a-year-of-observation-on-plas-and-marshall-tuck/

  2. Jeff Camp 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    The distortions in the Thurmond campaign's ads and posts are grotesque. I know that innuendo can work to win an election, but against all odds I expected better. If the Thurmond ads have you thinking that Tuck is a Republican, or a DeVos toady, or a banker, or a terrible administrator loathed by his team, you can relax. (Enough people are falling for this junk that he Tuck campaign actually had to create a rebuttal … Read More

    The distortions in the Thurmond campaign’s ads and posts are grotesque. I know that innuendo can work to win an election, but against all odds I expected better. If the Thurmond ads have you thinking that Tuck is a Republican, or a DeVos toady, or a banker, or a terrible administrator loathed by his team, you can relax. (Enough people are falling for this junk that he Tuck campaign actually had to create a rebuttal https://marshalltuck.com/truth/ )

    Until the big money got involved, both campaigns were civil and informative, as I summarized on Ed100. ( https://ed100.org/blog/what-does-the-superintendent-of-public-instruction-do ) These are BOTH good public servants, and California is lucky to have them. But the candidates have at this point been reduced to caricatures, to the detriment of both and to California’s harm. In particular CTA (with Thurmond’s consent, apparently) seems to have concluded that truth is optional and the ends justify the means. This is short-sighted. California’s public education system needs and deserves public confidence. Normalizing falsehood to win at any cost? Not OK.

    Replies

    • David Cohen 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Jeff – if you’re against distortions and false insinuations, I assume you have the same negative view of Tuck ads and op-eds that imply all sorts of personal failures by Thurmond when he was a school board trustee in a deeply distressed district. Here’s a lengthier response I wrote when Bill Evers tried that approach against Thurmond.
      http://dbceducation.com/a-curious-failed-attack-on-tony-thurmond/