September 2023 Poll Results
Last Updated: October 18, 2023
GrowSF’s goal is to listen, learn, and grow. That’s why we run a statistically significant, city-wide poll every quarter and publish the results. We want to know how voters feel and we want you to know, too!
These polls will inform the endorsements made in our voter guide: we want to endorse candidates and propositions that support the changes San Franciscans already want. Local elections affect our day-to-day lives and some races are won by just 100 votes!
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Unfortunately, more than half of those polled believe that San Francisco is going in the wrong direction. We hope that by diving in more we can understand the core drivers of this dissatisfaction.
The good news is that while San Francisco faces some serious issues, the vast majority of voters – 86 percent – believe our problems are solvable! San Franciscans are an optimistic bunch, and we know that the City government can, and must, do a better job.
The Mayoral race is heating up, but Mayor Breed is the clear favorite.
Rumors are swirling that Supervisor Aaron Peskin will enter the race, but his low favorability and role in eroding Mayoral power make us wonder why.
Daniel Lurie's exceptionally low name recognition might give him an opportunity to define his public persona, for better or for worse, or he may be unable to raise his name ID enough to win.
We predict it will be an uphill battle for them all, and it's Mayor Breed's race to lose.
People have clearly lost faith in their elected officials. Fewer than one-third of voters polled have any confidence in either the Mayor or the Board of Supervisors. These kinds of low numbers typically predict big shifts in upcoming elections.
It shouldn’t be terribly surprising that quality of life issues are the most pressing for San Franciscan voters. Homelessness and fentanyl top the charts followed by crime and cost of housing. These issues impact our daily lives and how we feel moving about the city, and we shouldn’t have to accept them as a fact of city life.
For all the noise on social media about transit and parking, in reality these issues just aren’t that serious to most voters. We’re especially glad to see that “Too much construction” comes in dead last among voters’ concerns. We can and should build more homes!
Voters are tired of people living in crisis on our streets. Voters want people who receive housing and supportive services to undergo drug and alcohol abuse treatment. And they overwhelmingly support holding people without their consent if they are experiencing a mental health crisis on the streets. Voters are sometimes contradictory, though: they want to build more homeless shelters, but not necessarily near their homes.
The bottom line: Voters are compassionate people but demand that the root causes are addressed instead of letting people waste away on the street. We wonder if more people would be willing to have shelters near them if they were sober facilities. We will dig into this more.
The message is clear that voters no longer tolerate San Francisco serving as a haven for drug users or dealers. Voters were nearly unanimous in supporting the arrest and prosecution of fentanyl dealers. And the vast majority were in favor of arresting and prosecuting public drug use and sending users to sobering centers. People want their streets clean and safe, but will elected officials listen?
According to our poll, crime remains a concern for voters. Over forty percent of those who experienced crime were repeat victims, with those living in District 9 (Hillary Ronen) and District 5 (Dean Preston) the most likely to be repeat victims.
Unfortunately, half of all victims didn’t report their crimes to the police. What’s the point of reporting crimes if nothing happens? We must fully staff our police to decrease wait times, and improve case resolutions.
Voters are flexible with how they navigate our city and embrace different kinds of transportation. They are more likely to support using bikes when given safe routes. And they are willing to use public transit if it is safe, clean, and convenient.
Notably, concerns about the price of Muni (just 3% of respondents cited this) pale in comparison to concerns about its safety and cleanliness -- giving the SFMTA a clear mandate to focus on fare enforcement, cleanliness, safety, and improving the rider experience.
And, more good news for getting back to normal: just 1% of respondents cited COVID-19 as a reason for not using transit.
Half of all voters feel that the quality of San Francisco public schools are subpar.
A vast majority of voters believe algebra should be offered in Eighth grade and even more support requiring AP classes in high school. We have to replace the School Board or suffer the consequences of holding our children back.
COVID is officially over. It’s time to move on, get back to enjoying life, and investing in the city we love.
We predict this feeling will increase the willingness to return to in-office work and bring in more tourism & conferences.
Despite the pronouncements from the media and activists, the tech industry remains popular in San Francisco. We think that the city should capitalize on our city’s innovative spirit and welcome more tech companies to come to San Francisco!
San Francisco has always espoused progressive values. But interestingly, more people identified as moderate or liberal than progressive. Voters are for common sense and pragmatism and understand that tough love is needed to make San Francisco a city that works and is livable for all.