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Sacramento State News - California State University, Sacramento
March 5, 2008

Area residents undecided in mayoral vote
Less than 30 percent would vote to re-elect Fargo

Full Report

Only one-third of Sacramento residents approve of the way Heather Fargo is performing as mayor, according to a recently-released Sacramento State survey. And if the election were held during the time of the survey, less than one-third of city residents would vote for Fargo.
A total of 36 percent of Sacramento residents approve of Fargo’s job performance, and the remaining residents either disapprove (35 percent) or say they don’t know (29 percent). If the election were held during the survey interviews, 28 percent would vote to re-elect Fargo, and 29 percent would choose NBA star Kevin Johnson in a two-way contest between the two. At the time of the interviews, Johnson had expressed public interest in challenging Fargo in the mayoral race.
The survey, conducted by Sacramento State Professor Amy Liu and her students through the University’s Institute for Social Research, found no single issue emerged when residents were asked what was most critical in casting their ballots. The economy (12 percent), budget and taxes (9 percent), housing (6 percent) and development (5 percent), public safety such as flood control (6 percent) and law enforcement (5 percent), and character and leadership qualities such as vision (6 percent) and integrity (3 percent) were among the most frequently mentioned factors.
Survey data also indicated June’s mayoral race in Sacramento is wide open. Fully 41 percent of city residents are not yet committed to either Fargo or Johnson.

Other findings include:

  • Men were more likely than women to rate Fargo’s job performance negatively (40 percent men vs. 32 percent women disapprove).
  • Republicans (49 percent) were less likely than Democrats (29 percent) and other voters (32 percent) to report positive job performance for Mayor Fargo.
  • Middle class residents favored Fargo over Johnson (37 percent Fargo vs. 29 percent Johnson), while working-class residents were more likely to pick Johnson (32 percent Johnson vs. 20 percent Fargo).

The survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview of 380 randomly selected adults from the City of Sacramento. It has a margin of error of 5 percent.

More information is available by contacting Liu at or (916) 278-7572. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office.

Full Report


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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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