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My sense of where things stand right now

Here’s an aggregation of the polls we’ve seen so far:

Candidate HAR HRBC KHOU KPRC Avg ======================================== Turner 19 24 19 20 20.50 Garcia 19 14 9 13 13.75 King 10 18 9 14 12.75 Bell 10 11 6 12 9.75 Costello 9 8 5 11 8.25 Hall 6 8 4 4 5.50 McVey 1 0 1 1 0.75 HERO HAR HRBC KHOU KPRC Avg ======================================== For 52 31 43 45 42.75 Against 37 40 37 36 37.50

Poll averaging, with various weightings, adjustments, and other secret-sauce mumbo-jumbo, is all the rage for federal elections, so I thought I’d try it here, since we have a relative bonanza of polling data. I think the rankings in the Mayor’s race would conform with most people’s general impressions – I had Costello ahead of Bell, and Garcia ahead of King, before I filled in the numbers, but otherwise they are all where I placed them initially. Basically, Turner is by himself, Garcia and King are tied for second, and Bell and Costello are a notch behind them. Hall and McVey are non-factors. There are still enough undecideds to possibly shake things up a bit, though how many of those “undecideds” are actually non-voters is an open question.

As for HERO, that HRBC poll with the slanted wording is an outlier, and may not be as accurate as the others on this question. Without it, HERO prevails by a 46.3 to 36.7 margin, a much more comfortable margin than if we include the HRBC poll. I’m not inclined to throw it out on the grounds of having no idea what the turnout effect for HERO will be, and not knowing what effect the shriekingly hateful anti-HERO campaign will have. As I’ve said before, I feel optimistic but not yet confident. I was pleased to see a HERO endorsement in the African-American News, which one hopes will help counter this nasty anti-HERO op-ed from two weeks earlier. I really don’t know what I expected going into this, but I feel like there have been more positive surprises than negative ones.

The biggest area of uncertainty for me is in the downballot races. Ben Hall’s anemic poll numbers suggests that there just aren’t that many voters for whom being anti-HERO is their main or only issue. There are obviously a lot more anti-HERO voters than what Hall’s numbers show, but the combined numbers for Hall and King suggest that some number of them will be voting for at least some pro-HERO candidates. If that attitude prevails in Council races, I think we’ll mostly get good outcomes. If not, there could be some ugly runoffs. I think all contested Council incumbents are in decent shape, though any of these five (listed in descending order of likelihood) could wind up in a runoff: Nguyen, Christie, Laster, Robinson, Kubosh. We could have a very busy November.

UPDATE: It helps to do the arithmetic right if one is going to aggregate polls. I goofed on the King numbers, which is why I originally had him second, but on review I see I gave him too high a total. What’s there now is correct. My apologies for the error.

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16 Comments

  1. Paul kubosh says:

    Good analysis. It is stuff like this post that keeps me coming back.

  2. Jesus Gamboa says:

    I’m beginning to sense that District J may end up having a runoff between CM Laster and SCA president Jim Bigham. I’m surprised that the incumbent has been, at the most, passively responding to Bigham’s aggresive campaigning, particularly the Burnett Bayland/Gulfton Skate park affair. I would like to hear Laster’s side of the story as well.

  3. Greg Wythe says:

    “… particularly the Burnett Bayland/Gulfton Skate park affair.”

    There is no “Skate park affair.”

  4. Jesus Gamboa says:

    How do you explain the lack of maintenance of Burnett Bayland park while money was directed at the Skate Park project? Did I chose the wrong word (affair) to describe the situation?

  5. Jesus Gamboa says:

    I have followed both Bigham’s FB and Twitter campaign pages, and both seem to focus on the park (though it is a coincidence that he turned to Gulfton after the Chron published their endoraement of Laster).

  6. Greg Wythe says:

    Bigham just wants to pit Sharpstown against Gulfton. Nothing more. The skate park was requested by constituents and is being designed by constituents. It’s something the community wanted and Bigham is just trying to make it look like a bad thing. The maintenance issues could have been dealt with by a single 311 call, but Bigham would rather have a press conference.

  7. Jesus Gamboa says:

    Does the City necessarily need a 311 call to deal with those kind of issues, or is a CM able to take action without such calls? Just curious

  8. […] as the polls we have indicate that more of the undecided voters lean conservative. There’s room for the four main non-Turner campaigns to get the edge for second place. The campaigns’ estimates of what turnout will look like is […]

  9. Manuel Barrera says:

    Greg have you asked the community at Gulfton what they wanted? Your bias is showing, I spoke to members of that community and they did not ask for it, so who did? They would have preferred trees, covered areas, you know the type of things most parks get. Jim does not have much money to campaign so he is trying to get traction where he can find it, I don’t blame him.

  10. Manuel Barrera says:

    Greg, I would suggest you start looking for a new job, your employer is on my list as one of those worthless state reps that needs to be replaced. Not next year, but two years from that.

    I have not forgotten that he moved into that district to run.

  11. Jesus Gamboa says:

    Am I right in detecting some kind of resentment from you, Manuel?

  12. voter_worker says:

    Mr. Bigham’s focus on “the state of the neighborhood” in terms of infrastructure, parks, landscape improvements and lack of maintenance thereof, and businesses and jobs is legitimate because many voters do care about these things. Anecdotally, there seem to be more Bigham yard signs than Laster, so maybe he does have a shot at the run-off. Mr. Wyeth, you make reporting something to 311 sound easy. I’ve tried that route over the years and it usually takes persistence in the form of multiple reports before any action is taken. I realize that my experience is anecdotal, but your implication that getting action via a 311 call is a snap is not what I’ve encountered.

  13. Jesus Gamboa says:

    I was visiting my stepgrandma in Sharpstown, and I have noticed that both Laster and Bigham signs dominated the neighborhood, with occasional Dung Le signs. I have yet to see yard signs for Manny Barrera.

    Interestingly enough, some of the TIRZ annexed houses on Fondren had Laster signs.

  14. Greg Wythe says:

    Jesus, the Dung Le signs are in homes with Vietnamese families. The overwhelming majority have either no registered voters or RVs with no voting history. As for the annexed homes supporting Laster – the TIRZ has been working with residents to go through the process of de-annexation (which should get a Council vote in the next month or so). Bigham is doing his best to derail it – again, he wants an issue more than a solution.

    I’ve done yard sign counts and run them through VAN. Once you get outside of Bigham’s precinct, the ratio and propensity to vote favor Laster pretty comfortably. And even within Bigham’s precinct, Laster has more voting history in homes with his signs despite Bigham having more total signs. I don’t doubt Bigham will show well in Sharpstown. But that’s less than half the district. As for a runoff, we’ll have to see how well Manny does with his campaign strategy of commenting on blogs.

  15. Jesus Gamboa says:

    Why do you feel that Laster is the better candidate?

  16. Greg Wythe says:

    I’ve known Mike since 2004 due to working with the Sharpstown Dems and campaigning for Scott Hochberg. I supported him as early as 2009 for the same reasons I support him today. He’s lived in the area longer than anyone else he’s been on the ballot with. He’s got experience leading the Civic Association, and serving on the TIRZ and Management District boards. I trust his judgment when it comes to knowing the ENTIRE District J on a relatively molecular level. He’s done great work putting together economic development teams in the district. I’ve never seen him pit one neighborhood in the district against another. Given the district’s large immigrant population, I know Mike doesn’t look past them or discount them because they can’t vote.

    A few specifics: I’ve seen Mike work with state electeds (including my boss) to ensure that DPS maintains our underpasses at a higher standard. I see the park renovations throughout the district that are in the works (funny that Bigham isn’t putting down the ones in Sharpstown). And I’ve seen how Bigham burns bridges with people in the district including myself. That’s starting to catch up with him because it’s a universally common theme among those who have had to deal with him.