May 2024 Mayoral Poll Results

Last Updated: May 12, 2024
The Mayoral RaceThe Mayoral Race

Who would win if the election were held today?

Our poll found that over one quarter of voters are undecided. Ignoring undecided voters, London Breed would win the election by a hair in the final round of ranked choice voting (RCV) with 51.43% of the vote. However, this victory is within the margin of error.

San Francisco's ranked choice voting system means voters can rank more than one candidate in order of preference. To simulate this, we asked voters who they would vote for if the election were held today, and who they would rank in second, third, and fourth place.

It's really anyone's race. Not only were 28% of respondents undecided, but Breed's victory is solidly within the 4.9% margin of error, which means second- and third-place finishers Mark Farrell and Daniel Lurie can win with well-run campaigns focused on the issues voters care about.

About the poll: GrowSF commissioned FM3 Research to run a citywide poll of 412 San Francisco voters from April 29 to May 5, 2024. The results have a ±4.9% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

Our poll question

The question: Thinking about November's mayoral election, who would be your first choice for Mayor if the candidates were as follows:
  • London Breed, San Francisco Mayor
  • Ahsha Safaí, San Francisco Supervisor
  • Aaron Peskin, Board of Supervisors President
  • Daniel Lurie, Nonprofit Founder
  • Mark Farrell, Businessman
  • Someone else (Other)

To learn second, third, and fourth place rankings we asked follow-up questions "Who, if anyone, is your second/third/fourth choice for Mayor?". If the respondent indicated they were undecided or unsure, we asked, "Would you lean toward one of the other candidates or would you have no second choice?". If they responded that they'd have no second choice, we ended the question and moved on.

Candidate names were presented in random order to each respondent to avoid order bias.

How each round of voting plays out

GrowSF built a ranked choice voting simulator to model the election. The simulator uses the poll data to simulate how votes transfer from one candidate to another in each round of RCV.

Note: "Exhausted" votes are ballots where all the ranked candidates were eliminated. These ballots won't be counted in subsequent rounds.

Round 1

Candidate% of Active Ballots% of All Ballots
Breed29%21%
Farrell23%16%
Lurie23%16%
Peskin16%12%
Safai9%7%
Undecided or exhausted28%

Safai is eliminated because they had the fewest votes. Here's how Safai's votes transfer for the next round:

FromToPercent
Safai
Farrell19%
Lurie5%
Peskin36%
Exhausted41%

Round 2

Candidate% of Active Ballots% of All Ballots
Breed30%21%
Farrell26%18%
Lurie24%17%
Peskin20%14%
Undecided or exhausted31%

Peskin is eliminated because they had the fewest votes. Here's how Peskin's votes transfer for the next round:

FromToPercent
Peskin
Breed29%
Farrell15%
Lurie20%
Exhausted35%

Round 3

Candidate% of Active Ballots% of All Ballots
Breed39%25%
Farrell31%20%
Lurie30%19%
Undecided or exhausted36%

Lurie is eliminated because they had the fewest votes. Here's how Lurie's votes transfer for the next round:

FromToPercent
Lurie
Breed28%
Farrell45%
Exhausted26%

Round 4

Candidate% of Active Ballots% of All Ballots
Breed51%30%
Farrell49%29%
Undecided or exhausted41%

Breed wins!

How do votes transfer in the first round?

Second Choice
BreedFarrellLuriePeskinSafaiOtherNo 2nd Choice
First Choice
Breed-27%11%12%9%2% 39%
Farrell16%-52%12%4%5% 12%
Lurie9%46%-10%16%2% 18%
Peskin17%1%22%-33%2% 25%
Safai0%19%5%36%-0% 41%
Other0%0%13%0%0%- 87%

This table shows how votes transfer from one candidate to another.

For example, look at Mark Farrell's row. 16% of Farrell's voters rank London Breed as second choice, 52% rank Daniel Lurie, 12% rank Aaron Peskin, 4% rank Ahsha Safai, and 12% don't make a second choice at all.

The big stand-out number is that 39% of London Breed voters only vote for her and don't rank any other candidates (this is called "bullet voting"). This might be because the race is so far out and the other candidates' name recognition is low, but if it carries forward to November, this high number of bullet votes would mean these voters would lose out on a chance to have their voices heard should Breed not make it to the top two in the first round.

The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

47% of our respondents didn’t list a second choice candidate, and 62% didn’t list a third. Overall, 41% of voters missed the chance to have their preferences reflected in the final results.

This race is a statistical dead heat. In our simulations, small changes swing the election in favor of any of the top three candidates. Mayor Breed, Mark Farrell, and Daniel Lurie all have a viable path to victory.

Candidate favorabilityCandidate favorability
The question: Is your impression of each candidate generally favorable or unfavorable?
Mayor London Breed
7%
25%
29%
34%
San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin
5%
19%
15%
26%
Mark Farrell
10%
21%
9%
9%
Daniel Lurie
6%
24%
12%
6%
San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai
4%
13%
14%
11%
Very favorable
Somewhat favorable
Somewhat unfavorable
Very unfavorable
The GrowSF TakeArrow Decorator

Mayor Breed’s favorability numbers are back to about where they were in our September 2023 poll. Daniel Lurie and Mark Farrell picked up some favor among the electorate, but remain relatively unknown. Aaron Peskin’s favorability also decreased to his September levels, although his unfavorability increased.

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Methodology

fm3
Dates
April 29 - May 5, 2024
Survey Type
Dual-mode voter survey
Research population
San Francisco voters
Total interviews
412
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

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