A Houston Chronicle poll conducted last week shows that [Peter] Brown, who has saturated the city with TV, radio and mail advertising, has a commanding lead among self-identified Republicans. Meanwhile, [Gene] Locke’s strategy to build a winning coalition that includes many conservative voters appears to be foundering.
[Roy] Morales is statistically neck and neck with City Controller Annise Parker.
Of 213 Republicans surveyed last week, 27.8 percent said they favor Brown, followed by 12.6 percent who support Morales, 11.3 percent who back Parker and 6.5 percent who are behind Locke. The poll of likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.
Pet peeve alert – Putting aside the issues of drawing any firm conclusions from a subsample of a poll that may or may not be full of unlikely voters, I still cringe whenever I see the term “statistical tie” used to describe someone who is leading but within the margin of error. I refer you once again to that nifty Excel spreadsheet that Kevin Drum provided back in 2004, which shows that given the percentages and sample sizes involved here, the probability that Parker actually leads Morales among these voters is over 95%.
Not that it really matters, since Morales isn’t competitive in the race. And so far, at least, the number of Republicans who have actually voted is fairly small. According to an analysis I received via email from Kyle Johnston of the first two days of early voting, 62% of the people who have cast ballots so far have voted in at least one Democratic primary, while only 25% have voted in a Republican primary. That may change before we’re done, but in the end, the City of Houston votes Democratic. There are Republican votes out there, and especially in a close race they’re worth pursuing, but there’s only so many of them.
One more thing:
After Brown’s appearance, J.D. Joyce, the Pachyderm Club president, said he did not know why Brown has surged among conservatives.
“I don’t understand what the draw is, quite frankly,” he said.
Not to be indelicate, but he’s an older white guy. That’s a pretty good nickel description of your modern Republican Party these days. For a more in-depth explanation, see Martha.