FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The race to be Fresno's next mayor is coming down to the wire with both candidates serving up their takes on our exclusive new poll.
There's a new leader in our Action News poll conducted by Survey USA, but it's still way too close to call.
"To me, it's great news," said Lee Brand of the poll. "I mean, I started in March 20 points down."
"It's close to the last poll that was done and it shows that it's going to be a tight race," said Henry R. Perea.
Standing just a few feet apart, Fresno's two mayoral candidates helped out at a city fundraiser for two injured Fresno County jail correctional officers. Their poll numbers are even closer than their charity efforts.
Our exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA shows Brand in the lead for the first time, but with a 45-44 edge within the margin of error.
ABC30 political analyst Tony Capozzi says it's an interesting turn of events, but with voters being polled this week, the numbers may reflect that Brand is the only candidate advertising right now.
Capozzi says the election will ultimately come down to voter turnout. Brand leads among seniors, who are more likely voters; Perea leads among millennials, who are less likely voters
But Perea thinks the presidential election could bring more of his voters to the polls.
"Statistically you always get more people out in a presidential election and a lot of those are first-time voters, unlikely voters, mid-propensity voters, so that's where our strength is," he said.
He also joined forces Thursday in a "Get Out The Vote" effort targeting Hispanic voters. Our poll shows they favor him by a 60-30 margin, although his advantage is much smaller than in our previous poll five weeks ago.
And Brand says the presidential election wasn't much help to Perea's son eight years ago when Henry T. Perea lost the mayoral election to Ashley Swearengin.
"They had the Obama effect," Brand said of that mayoral race. "Obama was obviously a very charismatic candidate, had a sweeping victory in 2008, but never really impacted the race in Fresno."
When it comes down to the issues, voters show clear tendencies depending on what they find most important. If crime is their top issue, Brand is in the lead. If economic issues are their top concern, it's Perea.
But like the line to the barbecue, a long campaign seems destined for a meaty finish.