This was the top story on the 5 PM news.
The final 11News/KUHF Houston Public Radio poll shows Controller Annise Parker has a 13-point lead over former City Attorney Gene Locke.
In the poll, which was conducted this week by the Center for Civic Engagement at Rice University, likely voters pick Parker 49 percent of the time, and Locke 36 percent of the time. Fifteen percent of likely voters remain undecided. (See more poll data from the Center for Civic Engagement here.)
“Like in the general election, voters are breaking late,” said 11 News political expert Bob Stein, who conducted the poll.
“In order to win, Gene Locke needs to get a much higher turnout in the African-American community than we are projecting, which is 29 percent of the vote,” he said. “I think he also needs to start taking a bigger chunk of those undecided voters.”
The poll consists of telephone interviews with 442 registered Houston voters who described themselves as likely or very likely to vote in the mayoral race, or who told pollsters that they had already voted. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent.
If you look at the crosstabs, it shows that 35% of the sampled respondents had already voted. I think that’s on the low end for what proportion of votes have already been cast, but it’s certainly a plausible and quite possible number. And it’s very nice to know that they’re not just depending on self-reporting for voter likelihood. I’m more confident about this poll than any of the previous media polls as a result of that.
What struck me as odd was that the sample was 66% female. That’s more than one would expect. Interestingly, in this poll, Parker’s lead among women was smaller than it was in the Chron Zogby poll, but she had a strong lead among men, whereas she’d been tied in that group before. Make of that what you will. It would have been nice to know how Parker did among those who have voted versus those who plan to, but I don’t see that data anywhere. KHOU has more.