More Dem primary polls from UH/Hobby Center

I asked, and I received.

Just months after a bruising campaign for mayor of Houston, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is leading her top challenger in the 18th Congressional District by five points, suggesting the closest race for the position in decades.

A survey of likely Democratic primary election voters by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston found 43% plan to vote for Jackson Lee, while 38% support former Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards. Another 16% said they are unsure who they will support.

“Congresswoman Jackson Lee has near universal name recognition, having represented the district since 1995, coupled with her run for mayor just a few months ago,” said Renée Cross, senior executive director of the Hobby School and one of the researchers for the project. “That name ID, along with strong support from women, Black and older voters, has given her a boost, although the race is still very competitive.”

A third candidate, Robert Slater, drew 3% of the vote.

Jackson Lee is the choice of 52% of Black voters, compared to 36% for Edwards; women voters, 47% to 33%; and older voters, 52% to 33%. Edwards is strongest with Latino voters, at 43%, compared to 29% for Jackson Lee; Independent voters, 45% to 31%; voters aged 45-64, 44% to 35%; and men, 46% to 39%.

Survey respondents generally support the incumbent in other high-profile congressional and state legislative races, although a large number of voters say they remain unsure who they will support. Several races without an incumbent on the ballot appear wide open.

Mark P. Jones, political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and senior research fellow at the Hobby School, said even relatively well-funded candidates have struggled to gain traction in some open seats, including state Senate District 15, left vacant after longtime incumbent John Whitmire was elected Houston mayor in December.

“Among the front runners, Jarvis Johnson has served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2016 and previously on Houston City Council, and both of the other top contenders are Democratic Party activists who have previously run for public office,” Jones said. “But all three are relatively close – Johnson and Molly Cook each drew support from 18% of likely voters, while 14% said they will vote for Todd Litton. With 37% saying they are unsure who to support, the race will very likely end in a May runoff.”

None of the other three candidates in the race has support from more than 6% of voters.

See here for the previous poll results, all of which I remind you again to take as interesting bits of information and not carved-in-stone truth. Poll details are here and the landing page for the 2024 Dem primary in Harris County is here. I’ll quote from that (scroll down to Report 2) for the executive summary:

U.S. Congressional District 7: 78% of likely Democratic primary voters intend to vote for U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, while 11% support Pervez Agwan. 11% of likely Democratic primary voters are unsure.

U.S. Congressional District 18: U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee holds a 5 percentage point lead in vote intention over Amanda Edwards, 43% to 38%, with 3% intending to vote for Robert Slater. 16% of likely Democratic primary voters are unsure.

Texas Senate District 15: Frontrunners for Texas Senate District 15 include Jarvis Johnson (18%), Molly Cook (18%), and Todd Litton (14%), followed by Alberto Cardenas (6%), Karthik Soora (5%) and Michelle Anderson Bonton (2%). 37% of likely Democratic primary voters are unsure.

Texas House District 139: Rosalind Ceasar has 12% of the vote, followed by Angie Thibodeaux, 10%; Charlene Ward Johnson, 8%; and Mo Jenkins and Jerry Ford, each with 4%. 62% of likely Democratic primary voters remain unsure.

Texas House District 142: State Rep. Harold Dutton is leading with 38% of the vote, followed by Danyahel (Danny) Norris, 7%; and Joyce Marie Chatman and Clint Dan Horn, each with 6%. 43% of likely Democratic primary voters are unsure.

Texas House District 146: 40% of likely Democratic primary voters plan to vote for State Rep. Shawn Thierry for Texas House District 146, while 16% support Lauren Ashley Simmons and 4% support Ashton Woods. 40% of likely Democratic primary voters remain unsure.

Note: Sample sizes vary in the district races. Refer to the report for specific populations and margins of error.

I expected Rep. Fletcher to be in the lead, though not quite by that much. I expected Rep. Jackson Lee to be in the lead, though perhaps not by that little. I am not surprised by the closeness of SD15. I don’t read anything into any of the State House races, those are just too chaotic to get a handle on. And that’s all I got.

UPDATE: The Jackson Lee campaign has since sent out this memo from a poll conducted I presume on behalf of the campaign, which shows SJL leading Amanda Edwards by a 55-26 margin, with 3% for Slater and the rest undecided. It also contains this footnote:

ii The Hobby School of Public Affairs released data showing the race to be closer between Jackson Lee and Edwards. However, compared to LRP, who has been conducting both primary and general election polling in this district for over a decade, the Hobby poll has this electorate being more white, more male, and younger. These factors all benefit Edwards, though Jackson Lee still has a lead among these demographic groups in the LRP poll.

The poll memo is all we get, and one should always apply an extra level of scrutiny to internal polls, since the campaign that sponsors them has the option of not releasing any they don’t like, which is not how public polls work. My point is simply that each poll is a single data point, and one should hesitate to draw too much from any individual poll.

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One Response to More Dem primary polls from UH/Hobby Center

  1. Joshua Bullard says:

    election night results updated 57% Edwards and 43% lee

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