UH/Hobby Center polls Harris County Dem primaries

Make of this what you will.

Sean Teare is leading incumbent Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg by a nearly three-to-one margin in the upcoming Democratic primary election, according to the latest survey from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

Among likely voters, 59% plan to vote for Teare, while 21% support Ogg. Another 20% said they are unsure.

“Kim Ogg has been at odds with some members of the local Democratic party, most notably in her interactions with the Harris County Commissioners Court,” said Renée Cross, senior executive director of the Hobby School and one of the researchers for the project. “That hasn’t gone unnoticed by some primary voters. Others may be concerned about well-publicized issues in the courts.”

Support for Ogg is highest among independent voters who intend to vote in the Democratic primary election, with 31% supporting Ogg. That compares to 44% of independents who back Teare.

The survey, which was released today, also found strong support for U.S. Rep. Colin Allred in his race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, with 66% of Harris County primary voters saying they will vote for Allred, compared to 7% for his top rival, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez. Harris County is expected to account for one out of every six votes cast statewide in the March 2024 Democratic primary election.

Almost two-thirds of voters, or 63%, plan to vote for incumbent Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. None of the other candidates in that race drew more than 2% of survey respondents.

The UH/Hobby Center main page for this election is here, and a more detailed breakdown of the data is here. They also found that Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee led Umeka “UA” Lewis by a 41-7 margin, while Annette Ramirez “led” in the race for Tax Assessor with 12%; everyone else was in single digits and about two thirds of voters didn’t know yet who they supported. There were no questions about support or approval for President Biden, though that was touched on in their previous statewide survey, and at least as of today there was no polling of either of the two Congressional races or SD15.

Polling is hard and polling in specialty races like primaries is harder, so while this is all interesting and may well be reasonably accurate, I would take it all with some level of skepticism. Not because of any specific issues or complaints, just that we don’t have any history of similar polls to compare this to and there very likely won’t be any other polling to provide further data. I think the numbers are plausible enough – I’ll be very interested to compare them to the final numbers – I just know that I will grind my teeth down to the gums every time I see this poll referenced in a news story as an immutable fact. This is interesting data. It may turn out to be very accurate and prescient data. But right now it’s a data set of one, and that can only tell us so much. I’m just asking you to keep that in mind.

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