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Poll position

Finally, after weeks of waiting, we have a poll for the Mayoral election, and it’s very interesting.

[Bill] White, the Houston businessman who has spent more than $600,000 of his own money to help dominate early advertising, has support from 25 percent of likely voters.

[Orlando] Sanchez, with 20 percent, and [Sylvester] Turner, with 19 percent, are within striking distance as both candidates prepare to ratchet up their own campaigns in a race most believe will be decided in a runoff.

A distant fourth is Michael Berry with 7 percent.

Looking back through my archives, I see that these numbers are not substantially different than a poll commissioned by the White team in April, which had Sanchez at 27, White at 22, Turner at 15, and Berry at 8. This poll, assuming it’s reasonably accurate, is obviously good news for White, not so good for Sanchez, and downright terrible for Berry.

If you’ve been reading here regularly, you’ll know that I’m not surprised that White is doing well and that Sanchez is not capitalizing on his name recognition. I have to say, I’m shocked that Berry is in single digits, given how hard he’s run, how indifferently Sanchez has run, and how many endorsements he has picked up. His support level is about half of what I thought it would be.

It’s still early, and the margin of error is plus or minus four percent, so it’s dangerous to read too much into this. Only White has spent real money on advertising (not counting the money the county GOP has spent on a hit piece against him; given that White has 23% support among Republicans, it would seem they missed their target), so there will be time for everyone to improce their numbers. Nearly half of Hispanic voters gave no preference. Sanchez got 62% of the Hispanic vote in the 2001 election, so he needs to improve his 38% figure there if he’s going to contend, while White can seriously undercut him if he grabs some more of those votes. Turner is heavily dependent on support from black voters; he’s got a good lead there now but will also need to improve on that number.

It’s a horse race, and it should get better. Greg is pretty excited, too. Go, Bill!

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  1. ByronUT says:

    Good to see White doing well. I’m cheering for him from Austin. If I have a chance, I might have to make a trip to Houston to help out his campaign for a day or two. I’ll probably be going to either Louisiana or Houston in December to help whatever Democrat needs the most help (although slight preference would be given to New Orleans…). It’s sort of becoming a new University Democrats tradition after 14 of us went to Baton Rouge and New Orleans to help Mary Landrieu in her runoff victory last December.

  2. kevin whited says:

    Money talks. And when the candidate is not as inept as Tony Sanchez, it talks even more. I’m glad my left-of-center friends are supportive of Bill White’s (thus far successful) efforts at political speech. See, it’s not such a bad thing to try and buy an election! 🙂

  3. […] I suppose you can count that as evidence of sparklessness. For comparison purposes, a mid-September poll from 2003 showed about 70% of the electorate with a preference, more than double the number in this poll. […]