Vinis Lags Peers in Name Familiarity


This graphic places Lucy Vinis’ name familiarity deficit in perspective. Only the five most prominent Eugene officials are included – her peer group. She is far behind Mayor Piercy and both county commissioners. She is even well behind Mike Clark whom she bested in May. No other major candidate for mayor in at least 20 years has had a name familiarity this low at this time of the year.

There are several possible reasons for this. To begin with, Vinis has been nearly invisible since her victory in May. Another is probably that Vinis is new to elective office. She has no long-term constituency. It could also show that Vinis’ mayoral quest was more campaign-driven, she talked to the voters she needed to talk to, than community-driven, engaging in a broad community discussion.

Though mayor’s tend to become well known once they assume office, no one starts with 95% name identification, a 40-point deficit seems extreme. This lack of name familiarity, whatever the cause, could turn out to be a serious problem.

QUESTION: Now, I am going to read the names of some people and organizations. Please tell me whether you have heard of each.
1. Mike Clark
2. Kitty Piercy
3. Pat Farr
4. Peter Sorenson
5. Lucy Vinis

METHODOLOGY: 200 live telephone interviews of likely City of Eugene 2016 General election voters were conducted September 13-15, 2016. The margin of error at the sample median is 7%.

N.B. The “20 years” refers to the firm’s polling. It seems reasonable one could go much further back. It is hard to imagine that less than two-thirds of Eugeneans were familiar with either Ruth Bascom or Mary Burrows in 1992, Jeff Miller or Emily Schue in 1988, Brian Obie in 1984, etc.

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