Looks like we’re going to see more polling than usual this cycle. This was sent as a press release from the Bill King campaign, which was kind enough to forward the full poll data to me when I requested it:
Thursday, the Houston Realty Business Coalition (HRBC) released a poll of 428 active voters measuring support of Mayoral candidates and important issues facing city voters. The Survey was conducted October 5-6.
“Bill King is the clear choice among fiscal conservative voters,” said Chairman Alan Hassenflu. “Bill King’s message of getting back to basics has earned him the support of our organization and is resonating with voters who are concerned with the current fiscal crisis facing City Hall.”
The poll shows King has emerged from the pack of major mayoral candidates running very close to the presumed frontrunner. Only 13% of Houston voters say they have yet to decide who they will support in the upcoming election.
Founded in 1967, HRBC, comprised of top business leaders, has become Houston’s Premier Business Coalition by supporting public policy, elected officials and candidates for elected office that promote its core values of limited government, capitalism and private property rights.
BALLOT: If the election for Mayor was held today and these were your choices: Ben Hall, Sylvester Turner, Adrian Garcia, Bill King, Steve Costello, and Chris Bell, who would you vote for?Ben Hall 8 Sylvester Turner 24 Adrian Garcia 14 Bill King 18 Steve Costello 8 Chris Bell 11 Other 4 Unsure 13
HERO ORDINANCE: Do you support the City of Houston’s Prop 1 ordinance, often referred to as the HERO ordinance – the law among other things would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity?Support 31 Oppose 40 Unsure 13 Refused 16
PENSION: Currently the City of Houston has $3.1 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and has little to no control of the pension funds. Would you support a proposal that would return control of pension funds to the Mayor and allow him to negotiate necessary changes to the current pensions?Support 31 Oppose 21 Unsure 30 Refused 19
The sample size for the survey is 428 targeted voters in Houston, Texas. The margin of error is +/- 4.77%. All interviews were completed using automated telephone technology and were conducted October 5-6, 2015 by TargetPoint Consulting. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Full poll data is here. I said yesterday that we might get another poll that doesn’t agree with the HAR poll, I just didn’t expect one so quickly. A couple of things to note: One, in comparison to the HAR poll data, this sample is more Republican, but also younger and slightly less white. I’m gonna guess that means more west side/Clear Lake/Kingwood and less Montrose/Heights/Meyerland. It also highlights the importance of how questions are asked. Note here that the HERO question only refers to “sexual orientation or gender identity”, whereas the HAR poll mirrors the ballot language, which lists all the protected classes under HERO. This is Polling Methodology 101 here, and it’s no coincidence that HAR supports HERO while the HRBC opposes HERO and has backed a slate of candidates (including King) that opposes it as well. There’s nothing wrong with this approach – needless to say, it’s the way HERO opponents are doing their messaging, and very much the way they want people to think about Prop 1 when they vote – but it doesn’t mean this sample is “wrong” and the other one is “right”. It means that messages and campaigns matter, which is why it’s nice that HERO proponents have plenty of resources to get their message out.
UPDATE: Here’s the Chron story, which makes the same points I do.