February 2024 Poll Results

Last Updated: February 21, 2024
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GrowSF’s goal is to deliver results for San Franciscans through more effective city government. As part of that effort, we run a city-wide poll every quarter and publish the results to make sure city officials know San Franciscans’ concerns.

In addition to some standard metrics we ask every quarter, our February 2024 poll focused on public safety.

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The Direction of San FranciscoThe Direction of San Francisco
The question: Would you say things in San Francisco are going in the right direction, or would you say they are off on the wrong track?
0%Wrong track
0%Right direction

The direction over time

The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

The slight negative change in the right track/wrong track sentiment compared to our September 2023 poll is within the margin of error. San Franciscans remain unhappy with the direction of the city.

The Mayoral raceThe Mayoral race
The question: Is your impression of each candidate generally favorable or unfavorable?
Mayor London Breed
12%
28%
21%
33%
San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin (rumored)
10%
24%
14%
25%
San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai
3%
18%
15%
16%
Mark Farrell
9%
15%
9%
9%
Daniel Lurie
8%
17%
9%
8%
Very favorable
Somewhat favorable
Somewhat unfavorable
Very unfavorable

Let's level set

To give context to the candidates' ratings among the public, we compared their ratings to some well-known figures. And who knows, with no clear front runner, maybe there's room for a surprise candidate 😉

Steve Kerr probably would have had better numbers last season...

Steve Kerr
25%
15%
5%
1%
Gavin Newsom
32%
31%
18%
18%
Joe Biden
27%
32%
17%
22%
Very favorable
Somewhat favorable
Somewhat unfavorable
Very unfavorable
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

Mayor Breed has increased her favorability compared to our September 2023 poll, increasing her strong favorables by 50% and shrinking her strong unfavorables (though both changes are within the margin of error). Ahsha Safai has seen his favorability decline, indicating his message is not resonating with voters.

The big news for the declared challengers is that Mark Farrell has emerged right out of the gate into a tie with Daniel Lurie. Farrell and Lurie are both relatively unknown to voters (after all, Farrell didn't have to run a citywide campaign when he became interim mayor), but Farrell was able to immediately catch up without spending a dime.

It's still looking like Mayor Breed is the frontrunner, but Farrell and Lurie are both in a good position to challenge her.

Steve Kerr, if you are thinking about running, please email us!

Police StaffingPolice Staffing
The question: Do you support or oppose funding the police so the San Francisco Police Department can hire 500 more officers and have a fully staffed department?
0%Support
0%Oppose
Demographic breakdown
The question: Do you support or oppose funding the police so the San Francisco Police Department can hire 500 more officers and have a fully staffed department?
White
74%Support
20%Oppose
Latino
71%Support
27%Oppose
African American
81%Support
19%Oppose
Chinese
83%Support
13%Oppose
Non-Chinese AAPI
75%Support
23%Oppose
All Voters Of Color
74%Support
22%Oppose
The question: San Francisco currently has about 1,500 police officers. If San Francisco were to adopt staffing levels similar to other major cities, like Paris, we would have about 3,600 officers. Do you agree or disagree that San Francisco should increase its police staffing to match that number?
65%Support
30%Oppose
The question: Here are some ways in which San Francisco could increase the size of the police department. For each, please indicate if you support or oppose this approach to fully staffing police:
Passing a law that requires minimum staffing levels
60%Strongly support
30%Oppose
Increasing police officer pay
70%Support
24%Oppose
Increasing hiring and retention bonuses
67%Support
26%Oppose
The question: How likely would you be to support a candidate who supports hiring additional police officers?
74%Likely
21%Unlikely
Followup Questions for the 74% who answered "Likely"
The question: Would you be comfortable or uncomfortable sharing with other people that you support a candidate who supports hiring additional police officers?
84%Comfortable
9%Uncomfortable
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

The overwhelming majority of San Francisco voters, across all ethnicities, neighborhoods, and political leanings, support funding the police and see policing as an essential government service that needs to be supported and delivered effectively. Yet some City Supervisors and politicians continue to work against the interests of the voters:

  • Connie Chan called for "dismantling the police" during a 2020 District 1 debate, and in 2022 Chan joined Supervisors Preston, Ronen, and Walton in voting against allowing SFPD access to private surveillance cameras with the permission of owners.

  • Dean Preston fought against funding the police, instead in 2023 he introduced a measure that would write grants to small businesses to hire private security -- outsourcing an important government function to unaccountable security contractors. He recently voted against funding police overtime in a supplemental budget adjustment.

  • District 9 Supervisor candidate Jackie Fielder argued to "defund the police" in 2020 and sold campaign masks emblazoned with the phrase. She's running to replace Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who tweeted in 2020 that she has "been trying to defund SFPD [...] for years".

Role of policeRole of police
The question: Do you agree or disagree that having more neighborhood police patrols prevents crime?
0%Agree
0%Disagree
The question:

Here are two statements on police officers. Please indicate which one comes closer to your personal opinion:

Police officers play a punitive role in San Francisco; they primarily react to crime after it happens, but their presence does little to prevent it and address its root causes.

OR

Police officers play a preventive role in San Francisco; their presence in neighborhoods reduces the likelihood of violent crime and property crime.

56%Preventative
37%Punitive
6%Don't Know
1%Neither
The question: My next question deals with civilian officers who do not carry a gun or any other lethal weapon, and who focus on neighborhood patrols, talking to small businesses and residents, and assisting those experiencing drug or mental health crises. Do you support or oppose more unarmed foot patrols with civilian officers in San Francisco?
79%Support
16%Oppose
The question: Have you ever called the San Francisco Police Department for help?
0%Yes
0%No
Of those who have called the police:
The question: Were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the service you received from the police?
62%Satisfied
35%Dissatisfied
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

San Franciscans largely see police as a preventative force against crime, and they overwhelmingly support both more sworn officers and unarmed neighborhood patrols.

When San Franciscans have to interact with police, it's generally a positive experience. But SFPD clearly has some room to improve their interactions with the public.

Police ProceduresPolice Procedures
The question: Under proper civilian oversight should San Francisco police be allowed to use each of the following kinds of technology:
Tasers
68%Allowed
23%Not allowed
Surveillance cameras
74%Allowed
18%Not allowed
Facial recognition technology
48%Allowed
40%Not allowed
Automated sound sensors to ticket loud motorcycles and cars
55%Allowed
35%Not allowed
Automated speed cameras
65%Allowed
27%Not allowed
Drones for following suspects
63%Allowed
27%Not allowed
The question: Do you support or oppose allowing police to use a vehicle to pursue retail theft suspects, car break-in suspects, or suspects fleeing in a car at safe speeds?
83%Support
15%Oppose
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

In what may be good news for Prop E, San Franciscans are generally supportive of police using technology to fight crime, with the exception of facial recognition technology.

This speaks to a broader trend of San Franciscans demanding not just more police, but more effective policing. San Franciscans are tired of the city's crime problem and are looking for solutions.

DrugsDrugs
The question: Should someone who is repeatedly arrested and charged for fentanyl dealing be held in jail until trial, released on bail, or released without bail, with the requirement to return for trial?
66%Held in jail
12%Released on bail
12%Released without bail, with the requirement to return for trial
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

San Franciscans are less progressive on drug dealing than the media and some politicians would have you believe. They are not interested in letting repeat drug dealers off the hook. Combined with the results we saw in our September 2023 poll, San Franciscans want to see consequences for drug dealing, and help for those who are addicted.

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Methodology

fm3
Dates
February 9-15, 2024
Survey Type
Dual-mode voter survey
Research population
San Francisco voters
Total interviews
455
Margin of sampling error
±4.9% at the 95% confidence level
Contact methods
Telephone calls
Email invitations
Text invitations
Data collection modes
Telephone interviews
Online interviews
Languages
English and Chinese
Demographic crosstabs margin of error
White: ±5.7%
Latino: ±12.8%
African American: ±19.2%
Chinese: ±12.3%
Non-Chinese AAPI: ±12.0%
All Voters Of Color: ±5.8%

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