Prosecutor Andrew Janz and former police chief Jerry Dyer are waging a highly competitive race for Fresno mayor, according to a GV Wire poll.
In telephone interviews conducted with 500 likely voters ending Jan. 4, both candidates were below the 50%-plus-one margin required to avoid a November run-off.
Janz held a slight edge. He drew 47% support compared to 45.2% favoring Dyer, with 7.8% undecided.
However, the difference in support for Janz and Dyer fell within the poll’s 4% plus-or-minus range of error. The poll has a 95% confidence level.
The poll did not ask about the other mayoral candidates on the March 3 primary ballot. They are the Rev. Floyd Harris Jr., Bill Gates, Nickolas Wildstar, Richard Renteria, and Brian Jefferson. None of them has filed fundraising reports.
Poll Indicates a Highly Partisan Race
Digging into the poll reveals an electorate deeply divided along partisan lines for what is officially a nonpartisan position.
Janz, a Democrat, was preferred by 83.3% of Democrats queried. Dyer, a Republican, was backed by 93% of GOP respondents.
No party preference voters provided 61.3% support for Janz and 22.8% for Dyer, with 15.8% undecided.
As of Jan. 3, Fresno had 254,693 voters — 42% Democrat, 27% Republican, and 25% no party preference.
Dyer Evokes Strong Positives and Negatives
Looking at favorability, 45.2% of respondents held a very positive or positive view of Dyer. That compared to 39.6% with very positive or positive views of Janz.
Respondents were less likely to say they had negative or very negative views of Janz. His negatives totaled 29.2%. For Dyer, the negatives totaled 36.4%.
Among likely voters polled, 19.6% said they were neutral about Janz. Dyer drew a neutral response from 19.2%.
Dyer owned a significant edge in name identification, perhaps reflecting his 18 years as Fresno police chief. Just 1.2% of respondents said they knew nothing about Dyer.
In contrast, 11.6% said they weren’t familiar with Janz.
Both Candidates Have Strong Pockets of Support
The poll showed Dyer doing best in northeast Fresno, which traditionally has high voter turnout. He had 59.7% support compared to 33.6% for Janz, with 6.7% yet to make up their minds.
Janz was strongest in southwest Fresno with 63.3% support. Dyer drew 25% in the district, and 11.7% said they were undecided.
Northwest Fresno, another high-turnout district, appears highly competitive. Dyer drew 48.6 % support to 45% for Janz, with 6.3% undecided.