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Nevada Wonk

Poll shows tight mayoral race; Carolyn Goodman stumbles at luncheon

Updated Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | 5:19 p.m.

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Chris Giunchigliani

Click to enlarge photo

Carolyn Goodman

Is the tide turning for Carolyn Goodman?

Goodman has been the front-runner in the Las Vegas mayoral race since she announced her candidacy in February. But a poll released Tuesday showed her in a dead heat with opponent Chris Giunchigliani.

Giunchigliani trailed Goodman by only 2 percentage points, according to the poll conducted earlier this month by the Beneson Strategy Group.

The survey showed Goodman receiving 45 percent of the vote and Giunchigliani receiving 43 percent. Goodman enjoyed a 20-point lead after last month's primary.

The Goodman campaign questioned the accuracy of the poll and the size of the sample. Giunchigliani's campaign pointed out that the Beneson Group accurately predicted the results of the primary, within the margin of error.

The poll was first reported by Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston moments after Goodman finished speaking at a luncheon for members of Lambda, Las Vegas' gay, lesbian and transgender chamber of commerce.

The Goodman campaign released its own poll Tuesday in response to the Giunchigliani poll. It showed Goodman leading Guinchigliani 53-31, with about 16 percent of voters undecided. That poll was conducted by Magellan Research and surveyed a group three times larger than Guinchigliani's did.

Goodman struggled at the Wednesday event. She flip-flopped on her position on gay marriage. At first, she said she supported domestic partnerships. Then she suggested that if she were gay, she'd go to a state where same-sex marriages are legal.

A few moments later, she said about domestic partnerships: "(With) my religious beliefs and my own personal way I live my life, I am not in favor of that."

Goodman's campaign manager Bradley Mayer said afterward Goodman does support domestic partnerships.

Goodman also referred to homosexuality as a choice rather than an innate quality, referring to "individuals who prefer a gay or lesbian lifestyle." Many in the audience of more than 100 scoffed at her characterization.

Goodman also received a less-than-favorable reaction when she described people as "transvestites" rather than "transgender." Several people gasped.

Moderator Steve Friess, a freelance writer and blogger, tried several times to push Goodman to answer questions definitively. He didn't have much luck.

Goodman could not say which government departments she would eliminate or consolidate. She previously has advocated for smaller government.

"I can't tell you that," she said. "I'm not in the city (government)."

When asked what LGBT events she has participated in since the primary, Goodman said: "I can't give you specifics since I didn't have the question ahead of time."

Mayer said afterward that Goodman participated in an event with Frank Marino, a Las Vegas female impersonator, and attended a fundraiser her neighbors hosted for her and several members of the gay community.

Giunchigliani also spoke at the Lambda event. (Goodman left half way through her presentation.)

Giunchigliani said she supports gay marriage and pushed to allow it in the state Legislature.

She stressed her commitment to the gay community and named several LGBT events she has participated in for years.

She mentioned the recent AFAN AIDS Walk in Las Vegas as an example.

"I walked the whole thing. I didn't just pay $25 and walk part of it," she said.

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  1. Goodman is an airhead.

    She did not know what the Dream Act is.

    She claimed Teach for America is a gateway to citizenship -- never was.

    But she claims to be some sort of educational expert.

    Wake up Las Vegas.

  2. "...Goodman's campaign manager Bradley Mayer said afterward...".

    This poor guy has the worst job in the whole circus, walking after the parade with a scoop, lol!

    "When asked what LGBT events she has participated in since the primary, Goodman said: "I can't give you specifics since I didn't have the question ahead of time."

    WOW! So, if she doesn't get the questions ahead of time she can't know the answer as to where she has or hasn't been since the primary a month ago?

    And yet she wants to be Mayor?

    "Then she suggested that if she were gay, she'd go to a state where same-sex marriages are legal."

    So, just pick up and leave and go somewhere else! But she is always talking about how she wants to be the "Mayor of ALL the people"?

    What a joke.

    The polls show that people are catching on to her and the end is nigh.

  3. It is time for Las Vegas to look smart with an intelligent composed leader at the helm who can take any question the media throws at her. That woman is Chris Giunchigliani!

    Carolyn Goodman has been such a disappointment during the campaign while "working" for our vote - can you imagine what a disaster she will be when the pressure is off and she is just sitting there in office?

    Chris demonstrated that no matter what she will put the best face for Vegas to the national media any question they want to ask anytime in any situation. When our city faces a crisis - no one will be submitting the questions in advance.

    Vegas this victory is within our reach. Now is the time to fight for this office block by block - house by house. We can do it! Show the nation Vegas is as smart and energetic as Chris Giunchigliani!

  4. I think it was a very bad idea for Carolyn to say that gays who want to be married should move. This state is already hurting for revenue, and as long as tourism is our meal ticket, when need to be open and welcoming to everyone.

  5. As an audience member today at Lambda, I was taken aback at Mrs Goodman's lack of depth or understanding of the LGBT Community and our issues. Mrs. Goodman was painfully unaware of 'Lifestyle' and issues concerning Nevada's Transgender Community. Note to Carolyn... study the issues before you enter a room of constituents or is this how you would govern as mayor?

    I was also puzzled by her lack of manners, leaving in the middle of Chris G's part of the forum.

    The difference in the 2 candidates is extremely obvious. Chris Giunchigliani is the BEST choice for Mayor - PERIOD!

  6. Glad that Brad Mayer's take on Carolyn's positions is consistent -- unfortunately HE's not on the ballot.

    Someone told me several weeks ago that Carolyn as much as admitted at a recent "ladies who lunch" event, that she was "embarrassed" to be campaigning, and left the distinct impression that she isn't really that eager to be Mayor.

    Reading about her performance today I'm giving that story a little more credibility? Who in the world goes to a forum like today's so unprepared and unable to take a position? Is this indicative of the level of commitment and effort she'll bring to the office?

  7. You stupid Liberals really want Chris G as Las Vegas mayor ???? This is Vegas Baby wake Up ! Send the liberals to congress, any where but for Mayor we need someone with moxy and pazazz ! Wake up !

  8. simplyhadenough: The Goodman poll that you mention is reported in my story, as is the fact that the Goodman campaign questioned the accuracy and sample size of Giunchigliani's poll.

  9. what most of you don't realize is that Goodman evolved one of the best private schools in Nevada. That's the education all of Nevada needs and she obviously knows how to get us there, she's done it before and she can do it again.

  10. Some people tout Goodman's work with education-however as mayor, she would have no power or ability to influence education in any way.

    Its time to turn this position over to someone outside the Goodman family who has the experience and dedication and smarts and energy to do the job. That's Chris G.

    Since education is Goodman's strong suit, she should run for the state legislature instead-we need good people there who can make a difference.

  11. @simplyhadenough -- Couple of points in reply to your snide response:
    1. Assuming you're referencing the PPP that showed Carolyn leading by 20 - how much validity is there in a poll that is over 30 days old, taken the day after the primary when people who had previously supported an "also ran" had barely had a day to think about who'd they support in the run-off?

    2. So let me get this straight -- Chris G has a large group of dedicated, unpaid VOLUNTEERS, who are following the race and sharing the reasons for their support in every possible forum, including commenting on local news stories. You think this is a bad thing? Frustrated a little by the lack of help on your campaign's side?

  12. The event was already underway when Goodman arrived 30 minutes late so it was extra stunning to see her get up and WALK OUT of the Lambda luncheon as Ms. Guinchigliani spoke. But reading this, it all makes sense. The timing coincides perfectly with Ralston's release of the new poll.

    Chris spoke articulately about her position/plans for job development, infrastructure, budgeting, community building, education, LGBT issues, and her commitment to each. Mrs. Goodman stated she didn't have any ideas yet because she doesn't know enough about how things work - that she would need to win the office first and then go in and do an assessment.

    Sorry Mrs. Goodman, we're not looking for a consultant who can give us an assessment. Las Vegas needs someone who already has the background and expertise to hit the ground running. And that's why I'm voting for Chris G.

  13. Vegas for Life said:
    "Chris G is using the Gay and Lesbians as pawns to further her liberal campaign and to get votes. She doesn't care about them. She is selfish and manipulating and her bots, including the author of this article posting on this site confirm that. This was pretty much an ambush."

    Mrs. Goodman has declined or canceled the majority of candidate forums and debates she's been invited to. While I don't agree with your assessment that this was an ambush, if it was, the fact that Mrs. Goodman agreed to attend the one event which she knew going in she would have religious and philosophical differences with the audience speaks volumes about her judgment and/or desire to sabotage herself.

  14. Oscar Goodman did a "jedi mind trick" on Las Vegas voters the last two elections. This will not happen this election. Criminal associations are a part of Oscar Goodman's past and present. Either intentionally, willingly, and they just don't care, this is not the future of Las Vegas. The past is the past, we must move on and be part of the real world in developing our community. Carolyn Goodman, sadly, would continue with Oscar's status quo of servicing his associations.