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Eight day out finances

Here’s the Chron story about the eight days out finance reports, which is all about the Mayor’s race.

City Councilman Peter Brown, who polls show leading the pack, poured an additional $801,000 of his family fortune into the race, pushing his self-funded total to $3.2 million. In the one-month period covered by the report, he spent $2.42 million and has a war chest of $418,000.

Former City Attorney Gene Locke has spent $1.34 million and has $391,000 on hand, while City Controller Annise Parker spent just $506,000 with $83,000 remaining. Harris County Board of Education Trustee Roy Morales’ report was not available before deadline Monday; he has reported raising only a fraction of that of his opponents in previous periods.

Roy’s report is available – it was Locke’s report I couldn’t find. Be that as it may, he raised $35,106.43, spent $28,826.80, and has $7,333.43 on hand; he also listed a loan of $5,927.86. I’ve updated my Google spreadsheet to show the results that have been posted so far. (I haven’t been able to get to any of the district Council races as yet, and the site has been crashing all day today, so don’t read anything into the absence of most of those races.) Note that Roy’s showing since the 30 day report is better than he had in either previous report, and indeed is nearly as much as he’d raised all year to that point.

As for Brown’s lead, and the dueling commentaries among various unaffiliated campaign types, what we’ve got is two polls of registered voters that show him in the lead, and one poll that does some pre-screening based on recent voting history that shows Parker in the lead. I agree with Greg that Peter gets the benefit of the doubt, but I really do have my doubts about those two polls. Which is not to say that Parker’s poll is the gold standard – even if it were, it’s still just one data point, and that poll’s assumptions may be too restrictive or otherwise skewed in some fashion – but I am more comfortable with it, at least in terms of the voter pool it’s drawing from. That said, if Brown’s ad blitz has genuinely raised his profile among otherwise undecided voters, it wouldn’t take too much of a bump in turnout among voters I’ve been considering unlikely to make a difference for him. I just have no way of knowing about this.

What we need to really get a handle on this is at least one poll of truly likely voters by an independent pollster. I mean, for all we know, Annise’s poll oversampled women, or Democrats, or some other group that might be favorable to her. I haven’t seen her poll’s crosstabs, so I can’t judge that. Failing that, a poll from another campaign, one that also does a likely-voter pre-screen, would be instructive. As Martha suggests, surely Gene Locke has commissioned such a poll. Of course, if said poll gives him a lousy result, he has no reason to release it. Draw whatever inferences you want from the lack of a poll release from his campaign.

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