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Capps' Poll Gives Her 24-Point Lead

October 30, 2002|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

A new poll commissioned by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) shows the two-term incumbent leading her well-funded Republican opponent, Carpinteria businesswoman Beth Rogers, 56% to 32%.

The Capps campaign released the poll results Tuesday, apparently to rebut recent comments by GOP strategists that a Rogers upset in the Nov. 5 election is not out of the question.

Rogers' campaign manager, Bob Tapella, refused to release Rogers' own poll numbers. But he said the 24-point advantage in the Capps poll will not cause Rogers to change her strategy.

"We are trying to take out an entrenched incumbent, and we have known that from the beginning," Tapella said. "Whatever the poll shows, it won't affect what we will be doing between now and election day, which is talking to voters about why they should vote for Beth Rogers."

Capps' poll shows 65% of Latino voters preferred her. That would be a blow to Rogers, a fluent Spanish-speaker who has presented herself to the 23rd District's large Latino population as a moderate alternative .

Rogers, from a fourth-generation Ventura County farming family, has raised $1.44 million to battle Capps, half of it from her own wallet. Capps has raised $1.34 million.

The 220-mile-long coastal district, stretching from San Luis Obispo to Port Hueneme, has become safer than ever for a Democrat after last year's redistricting.

In the survey, pollsters Garin-Hart-Yang interviewed 411 likely voters Oct. 23 and 24. The survey has a 4.9% margin of error.

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