Poll shows Arnold with big lead over Michielssen

May 18, 2016

Supervisor Debbie Arnold


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.

Eric Michielssen

Eric Michielssen

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.

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  1. Rich in MB says:

    An Arnold win is great new for SLO…and Tax Payers.

    (12) 26 Total Votes - 19 up - 7 down
  2. Myself says:

    Just what we don’t need,someone that thinks like gibson and hill,Michielssen isn’t what we need, I sincerely hope that the districts up for grabs do the right thing,hill has got to go, either of the two contenders for hills spot would be by far better than what we have,ABBA,anybody but adam.

    (16) 36 Total Votes - 26 up - 10 down
  3. r0y says:

    “Michielssen has the backing of the SLO County Democratic Party, District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill and District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson”

    Sounds like <b.three strikes to me.

    (37) 63 Total Votes - 50 up - 13 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      See the three supporters listed above is reason enough to vote for Debbie, one of the best supervisors to serve our County. Great job, Debbie and I think Lynn is also doing a great job. Now, can we elect Preshong and send Adam Hill packing. It would be the best BOS in a very long time!

      (16) 42 Total Votes - 29 up - 13 down
  4. Perspicacious says:

    With Peschong leading the field by quite a bit in District 1 and Arnold running away with District 3 I would say that does not bode well for Ass Hill.

    (29) 45 Total Votes - 37 up - 8 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      District 5 for Arnold.

      (20) 44 Total Votes - 32 up - 12 down
    • just the facts says:

      District 3 for Carpenter!

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
    • Kaiser Bill says:

      Arnold and Peschong are running in the North county.

      The North County has always been Conservative.

      District 5 is a swing district because it include Cal Poly and part of SLO. David Blakley and Jim Patterson were left wing Supervisors in District 5. Mike Ryan Debbie Arnold have been right wing Supervisors in District 5.

      District 3 swings liberal because it includes more than half of SLO and all of Grover Beach. The only Republican to hold the District 3 seat in the last 30 years was Jerry Lenthall. It is good that an indepedent like Carpenter and a Democrat like Petersen are challenging Hill, because a Republican probably can’t win in District 3.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  5. Bluebird says:

    I knew Arnold supported and supports Prop 13. I was surprised to hear Michaelseen say he supported Prop 13 and continues to believe it is a good piece of legislation.
    I never hear anyone talk about how Prop 13 benefits corporations.

    (10) 22 Total Votes - 16 up - 6 down
  6. LAPS says:

    Arnold is rediculous. She was against spending money to spray Laguna Lake to control mosquitos. She has no interest in doing what’s best for the community

    (-34) 76 Total Votes - 21 up - 55 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      Do you even know what you are talking about? Laguna Lake is in the City of SLO! That’s not a county issue!

      (41) 65 Total Votes - 53 up - 12 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        No, LAPS does not know what he/she/it is talking about.

        (17) 37 Total Votes - 27 up - 10 down
      • obispan says:

        No, YOU don’t know what you’re talking about. Mosquito control was a function of the County Health Dept. There are no city health departments. Do you think the City of SLO does health inspections of restaurants or provides drug and alcohol services, VD testing or any other COUNTY function.

        (9) 27 Total Votes - 18 up - 9 down
        • obispan says:

          FYI, people who get arrested in the City of SLO do not go to the “city” jail.

          (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
        • Perspicacious says:

          The county has not provided abatement services since 2009 when the voters voted to get rid of it. Arnold was first elected in 2012. So, what does Arnold have to do with Laguna Lake spraying again? I haven’t researched the specific Laguna Lake issue but I would guess it had to do with assessing a Mosquito Abatement tax…if she was against that then she WAS DEFINITELY doing what is right for the community.

          (15) 29 Total Votes - 22 up - 7 down
          • hijinks says:

            So, you have no facts (“I haven’t researched the specific Laguna Lake issue”) yet you stick to them. Very intelligent. The voters didn’t ever vote to get rid of abatement. They wisely voted not to create a new bureaucracy to ONLY do abatement, complete with a new tax only for the purpose of setting up the new bureaucracy. The county has always done abatement, and that never stopped due to anything voters ever did. The original writer’s premise is correct. Of course, Laguna Lake is in Hill’s district, so I suppose she can kiss off her malfeasance by saying it’s his problem.

            (9) 19 Total Votes - 14 up - 5 down
            • Perspicacious says:

              From the SLO County website:

              “Please note that San Luis Obispo County does not provide mosquito abatement or surveillance services.”

              (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
            • Kevin Rice says:

              Oh, good grief. Is a single vector control issue from years ago how normal people choose a candidate? Please. So, you may have disagreed on something that may or may not have even been N actual vote. Okay. That’s great.

              (3) 19 Total Votes - 11 up - 8 down
    • r0y says:

      Quite “rediculous” really… :/

      (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      LAPS, what are you talking about. That is a City of SLO issue not a County issue. Amazing!

      (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
    • TeeItUp says:

      Maybe you were stung by too many mosquitos!

      Debbie Arnold is the best choice. She protects private property rights.

      I guess if you are an Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson you have already turned over your private property to them so you can freely vote for Eric M.

      Otherwise vote for Debbie A as she is the only one looking out for you a land owner and a person that works for a living and carrying the weight of the county employees on their backs. Do not let the LEFT in again they are economically destroying our county.

      Vote Debbie Arnold in the 5th District

      Vote John Peschong in the 1st District

      Vote Dan Carpenter in the 3rd District

      Get ready for REAL economic GROWTH and reduced regulations that kills job creation.

      (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
  7. IronHub says:

    “Michielssen said he favored the (water) district formation because it was recommended by several county agencies and both supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson.”

    Holy ham hock! How’s that for independent and informed thinking about an issue so very important to District 5’s North County folks?

    Mick, you need to learn who your constituency is… 80 percent rejection of the oddball water district plan. Seriously? Adam Hill? Bruce Gibson? Several county agencies? Are you just emerging from a deep sleep? And you want to represent these people… how??? No doubt about how you would vote on the board if by some miracle you’re elected.

    (38) 64 Total Votes - 51 up - 13 down
    • avidreader says:

      You nailed it IronHub. Anyone who would say, let alone ‘think’, that listening to the recommendation of staff, Hill and Gibson is superior to listening to their constituency…well, I don’t want that kind of guy representing me on the Board of Supervisors. We need someone that the Hill/Gibson machine can bully!

      (19) 33 Total Votes - 26 up - 7 down
    • SLOBIRD says:


      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  8. Jorge Estrada says:

    I will always reserve my right to disagree with anyone and that right holds true with Supervisor Arnold. As she well knows the expense in putting something before the voters, she is strong enough to disagree with asking the taxpayers to vote for a tax increase per her assessment and in keeping with her campaign promise. I have listened to other elected who disagree with the proposed tax increase yet the are willing to waste taxpayers money to vote on what they themselves see no merit in. It is just that crazy, we have representatives that know the waste and are willing to support the expedition. Thankfully Supervisor Arnold keeps her promises and continues to be a “watch dog”, as her competition acknowledges.

    (25) 57 Total Votes - 41 up - 16 down
  9. ThomasAquinas says:

    Great news for Debbie, congrats

    (28) 70 Total Votes - 49 up - 21 down

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