Poll shows Arnold with big lead over Michielssen
May 18, 2016
By CCN STAFF
The race for the San Luis Obispo County District 5 supervisor seat looks like its incumbent Supervisor Debbie Arnold’s to lose.
Among decided voters, Arnold holds a 22-point lead over rival Eric Michielssen, according to a new CalCoastNews poll. Arnold bests Michielssen by 61 to 39 percent.
Of registered voters polled, 36 percent are still undecided.
CalCoastNews surveyed 408 District 5 voters on May 15 using automated calls to land lines and cell phones. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 5 percentage points. CalCoastNews identified each candidate only by name, and not by any other information used to describe them that might influence voters’ choices.
District 5 has 3,332 more Republicans than Democrats, giving Republican Supervisor Arnold an edge over Michielssen, a Democrat.
Michielssen has the backing of the SLO County Democratic Party, District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill and District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson. Gibson has donated $3,000 of the $64,926 Michielssen’s campaign has reported.
Arnold’s supporters include former state senator Sam Blakeslee, the Cattleman’s Association and Mike Cole. Cole, a partner in the proposed Las Palitas gravel quarry, donated $2,500 to Arnold’s campaign, which has raised more than $192,000.
Arnold and Michielssen have differing views on a variety of issues including a proposed Paso Robles groundwater basin district and the Las Palitas gravel quarry.
Arnold voted in favor of the proposed Las Palitas gravel quarry because of a statewide shortage in aggregate that could lead to higher costs for road maintenance. The proposed quarry failed 3-2.
An opponent of the quarry, Michielssen, said that the board needed to listen to Santa Margarita residents who opposed the project primarily because of concerns about increased traffic and noise.
Arnold and Michielssen are also in disagreement over the plan to create a district to manage the Paso Robles groundwater basin that lost by 77 percent to 23 percent in a vote earlier this year.
Arnold opposed forming the district, preferring to have the county manage the groundwater basin. If the proposed district had succeeded, the basin’s water resources would have largely been controlled by wealthy land owners who live outside the county.
Michielssen said he favored the district formation because it was recommended by several county agencies and both supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson.
Of voters who participated in the last primary election, a breakdown by mailing addresses has 61 percent from Atascadero, 20 percent from San Luis Obispo, 6 percent from Santa Margarita, 6 percent from Paso Robles, 4 percent from Templeton and 3 percent from Creston.
On May 9, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder’s Office mailed out approximately 100,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters. The primary election is set for June 7.
Don’t miss local poll results, like CCN on Facebook.