Once considered a front-runner, support for Houston City Council member Peter Brown appears to be slipping in independent polling data released to 11 News.
Rice University professor Bob Stein, who conducted earlier polls for KHOU-TV and KUHF Radio, used an “interactive voice response” system this week to re-interview many of the likely voters who took part in the first rounds of polling, which KHOU and KUHF released this week. Stein also used the IVR system to question new groups of registered Houston voters who described themselves as likely to vote in the mayoral election.
“There is a closing of the gap between all of the candidates,” Stein said. “It’s still very wide open.”
11 News is not releasing specific numbers or candidate rankings based on the IVR poll, because it is not considered part of our official polling package. Stein said the data indicate that support for controller Annise Parker and former city attorney Gene Locke has surged over the last two weeks, often at the expense of Brown, who has spent millions of dollars on a sustained television advertising campaign.
I don’t even know what there is to say about this. The original poll was based on a sample that I find questionable, especially given the low turnout projections. I’m not sure what there is to learn by asking followup questions of people who were – to my mind, anyway – unlikely to vote in the first place. Without being able to see the data itself, I’m even more dubious. I can certainly believe that Brown’s support is soft, I just don’t think this is telling me something I didn’t already know.