A head-to-head battle between two of Fresno County’s leading Republican politicians is looking decidedly one-sided with more than 13 months before voters cast their ballots, according to internal polling obtained by The Sun.
Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau is facing a stiff challenge from term-limited Fresno City Council member Garry Bredefeld in 2024 to retain his seat representing north Fresno and western Clovis on the Board of Supervisors.
Driving the news: The battle between the two conservative local lawmakers, coupled with a similar challenge waged by Fresno Councilman Luis Chavez against incumbent Supervisor Sal Quintero, has become a flashpoint in growing political acrimony in Fresno County.
- Bredefeld kicked off his candidacy for Supervisor in early February, eschewing a bid for California State Assembly, amid the likelihood that he would face off against termed-out Asm. Jim Patterson (R–Fresno) and potentially Brandau, too.
- Patterson announced his candidacy for Supervisor in November, shortly after winning his final term in the lower chamber. Hours after Bredefeld’s announcement, Patterson announced his intent to retire from public office at the conclusion of his term in Dec. 2024.
- Bredefeld has trained his fire on Fresno County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, specifically its work to shut down businesses and schools, pressing the fact that county “bureaucrats were running things” while Supervisors stood by during the pandemic.
By the numbers: The internal poll, conducted by Arizona-based pollster Signal Research on behalf of Bredefeld’s camp, found Bredefeld leading Brandau by a double-digit margin.
- The poll found the Fresno Councilman leading the incumbent Fresno County Supervisor by 12 points amongst all voters, a polling memo notes.
- Bredefeld’s favorability among voters of all stripes ranked 32 percent with 22 percent of voters holding an unfavorable view of the two-term Councilman. Brandau polled at 22 percent favorable, 15 percent unfavorable.
- On the head-to-head ballot, Bredefeld was the choice of 44 percent of registered Republicans. Brandau, on the other hand, polled at 6 percent support.
- 50 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of self-identified conservatives viewed Bredefeld favorably. Seven percent of each category viewed the Councilman unfavorably. 43 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of conservatives had no registered opinion of Bredefeld.
- 30 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of self-identified conservatives viewed Bredefeld favorably. Ten percent and 16 percent of each category viewed the Supervisor unfavorably. 60 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of conservatives had no registered opinion of Brandau.
- The survey panel included 300 registered voters and had a margin of error of 5.7 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.
What they’re saying: Chris Baker, Signal Research’s top pollster, pointed to a clear gap between Bredefeld and Brandau’s support as a sign of Bredefeld’s electoral strength.
- “Bredefeld starts the race with the ideal profile needed to prevail in this district where Republicans have a significant registration advantage over the Democrats and generally identify as conservative,” Baker said. “Given Bredefeld’s overwhelming advantages amongst Republican and conservative voters, it would be an extremely difficult race for fellow Republican Brandau to win.”