KHOU/HPM poll: Turner 37, Buzbee 20, King 10

We must be getting into the serious part of Houston Election Season, because we have our first public poll of the Mayor’s race.

Mayor Sylvester Turner leads trial lawyer and businessman Tony Buzbee by 17 points, according to a KHOU/Houston Public Media poll released Wednesday.

The survey of 516 registered likely voters found Turner well ahead of the 12-candidate field with 37 percent, followed by Buzbee at 19.6 percent and Bill King at 9.5 percent. The poll’s margin of error is 4.3 percent.


The poll shows Turner running far ahead of everyone else but with nowhere near enough support to win outright, said Bob Stein, a Rice University political science professor who conducted the poll from Sept. 3 to Sept. 15. Stein surveyed about two-thirds of respondents by cell phone and the rest by landline.

Councilman Dwight Boykins received 3.5 percent support in the poll, while 0.4 percent of voters said they likely would vote for former city councilwoman Sue Lovell.

Otherwise, 3.3 percent of respondents said they likely would support a candidate other than Turner, Buzbee, King, Boykins or Lovell. Another 21.5 percent were undecided, and 5.2 percent refused to respond.

Early voting starts Oct. 21, with election day on Nov. 5. If no candidate finishes with 50 percent plus one vote, the race will be decided in a December runoff between the top two finishers.

In a potential runoff matchup, the poll found Turner beating Buzbee 54.6 percent to 40.2 percent, and King by 56.8 to 34.1 percent.

The KHOU story is here and the Houston Public Media story is here, along with an interview with Bob Stein. Stein says he’s a little surprised that King is polling third; he attributes this to Buzbee spending a crap-ton of money so far. I’d say that’s mostly true, with the additional note that King has the charisma of a soggy corn flake, and basically has no issue to run on this year. Buzbee has no issues either, and even less of a clue, but he does have a lot of money, and that does help.

If you look back at the Mayoral polling from 2015, it was reasonably accurate to a first approximation. Adrian Garcia polled better than Bill King, but King finished ahead of him in the race. Steve Costello, Chris Bell, and Ben Hall were in the next tier, though in the end Hall finished above the other two. The polling on HERO was exactly wrong, and that may have been the result of skewed turnout assumptions, which in the end may have also helped King. Every election is different, and Turner is an incumbent this time, so be very careful in drawing conclusions. The point I’m making here is that the most recent polling examples we had were fairly decent snapshots of the race.

Another way to look at this: Thirty-seven percent of respondents named Sylvester Turner as their choice. Adding up the other numbers, a smidge more than thirty-six percent of respondents named someone else as their first choice. Make of that what you will.

One more thing:

The poll also found 58.5 percent of respondents support Metro’s $3.5 billion bond proposal, which would authorize the transit authority to move forward on a menu of projects that includes light rail extensions and the expanded use of bus rapid transit. Only 10.5 percent are opposed to the proposal, the survey found, while 31 percent were undecided.

This is where I point out that people who do not live in Houston will also be voting on the Metro referendum, so this poll is not fully representative. The city of Houston is generally between 65 and 70 percent of total turnout in Harris County in these odd-year elections, and here is where I note that the Metro service area excludes some parts of Harris County, mostly the city of Pasadena. If the Metro referendum is polling this well in the city, it’s likely headed towards passage, but there are non-city votes out there as well, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Election 2019 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to KHOU/HPM poll: Turner 37, Buzbee 20, King 10

  1. Manny says:

    I am a supporter of Turner.

    The Latino community may determine as to who gets elected in a run-off.

  2. Andrew Lynch says:

    A mayoral runoff is likely.

    The metro 3.5 Billion is a mess. Metro’s ridership is down and their management of current projects is a disaster. Why would anyone vote to give METRO more money to squander ?

  3. N.M. Horwitz says:

    My rule of thumb has been to eliminate the “refused answer” and 3/4 of the “don’t know” respondents, assuming they do not vote, and recalculating the percentages, with rounding going against the undecideds.

    In 2013, the KHOU poll had a much higher undecided number, though, so perhaps it’s apples and oranges, but my prediction extrapolating from that data was pretty close. (I said Parker 53, Hall 22, with 19 still undecided).

    Anyhow, my alchemy comes out to:

    Turner 46
    Buzbee 25
    King 13
    Boykins 5
    Lovell 1
    Other 4
    Undecided 6

    Turner and Buzbee in a runoff seems like a 50/50 shot, with Turner winning outright in many of the other scenarios. The poll reinforced that of which I’ve seen a lot of murmuring of late: King is toast. So the runoff polling is very illuminating.

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    What, Manny, you support Turner? You who accuse everyone of being a racist, support segregation? I nearly choked on my morning coffee at the bold taste of irony when I read that, and I can’t believe that you would support segregation. I have been very sad since the Spanish speaking people have been driven from my neighborhood.

  5. Manny says:

    Jason why do you crawl out from that Republican hole you live in. Maybe you were truthful and you don’t vote, but you do seem to hate blacks because you only attack blacks.

    What neighborhood were the Spanish speaking people driven out from?

    I don’t accuse everyone of being racists, only the people like you that act like a racist, that talk like racist, you fit the profile of a racist. There is not much different from you and Bill.

  6. C.L. says:

    Jason, the Hispanics have been driven out of the western Heights area ? I’m sure that comes as a revelation/shocker to all the folks named Rodriguez, Gutierrez, Olmos, Alvaro, Alvarez, Cardenas, etc., that live in 77008.

  7. C.L. says:

    Jason, the Hispanics have been driven out of the western Heights area ? I’m sure that comes as a shocker to all the folks named Rodriguez, Gutierrez, Olmos, Alvaro, Alvarez, Cardenas, etc., that live in 77008.

  8. Manny says:

    If C.L. is correct that you, Jason, reside in the Heights, then it was white before it was brown, and just went back to white. People move all the time, I was born in another city, the neighborhood that I live in was white when I moved in, now it is mostly brown, Spanish speaking folks. If I live long enough and don’t move I may see it change again.

  9. C.L. says:

    Jason keeps shouting ‘Turner Segregation’ at the top of his non-voting lungs, but me thinks he really is unclear of the definition of the word (segregation, not Turner) as nothing I’ve seen appears to be taking place that’s institutionally designed to keep separate groups apart from each other (section 8/low cost housing complexes NOT being built in River Oaks is a crazy small localized issue). Maybe that’s why this/his argument seems to have zero traction within the discussion of the upcoming election.

    I’ll give him props for the “morning coffee with a bold taste of irony” line, tho. Clever.

  10. Susan Egrets says:

    Polling numbers are nearly identical to 2001 when Lee Brown was seeking reelection.

    It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS for an incumbent to poll less than 40%.

    Unlike in 2001, Tony Buzbee actually is a liberal democrat pretending to be a Republican.

    Don’t be surprised if Turner loses this one.

  11. Manny says:

    Susan liberal Democrats don’t give half a million dollars to Trump.

  12. Jason Hochman says:

    C L the segregation is related to the Fountain View project and HUD determined that the neighborhood objections were at least in part motivated by racism, and discrimination. Turner stopped it from going to the council and he as usual claimed it was because the city had no money, and HUD came back and said that it is free, so that excuse is just another racist tactic. It ended up that they had a voluntary agreement or some other type of contract with the city in March 2018, even though it is voluntary it gives the city a 30 day limit to cure a breach and notes that noncompliance will result in loss of federal funding or other consequences, you can find it online or you can ask the city to email you a copy. It’s a public record.

  13. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny interesting to see that you don’t retract your support of a segregationist, and you have only two choices
    1) withdraw support; or,
    2) admit that you agree with segregation.

  14. Jason Hochman says:

    Susan, after his track record, it is extremely disheartening to see Turner above zero.

  15. Ross says:

    Jason, you are as big an idiot as Manny. Turner isn’t a segregationist at all, and the apartments that were proposed were way too expensive. Besides, if you think Turner is bad, you will be horrified by how bad King or Buzbee would be.

  16. Manny says:

    Ross I am more than willing to compare IQs with you, you are a gun loving crazy, Brown skin hater, and can’t won’t or even give a reason for your hate. Being married to a Spanish surname person does not mean one does hate Spanish surname people as a group. You Ross fit that criteria.

  17. Manny says:

    does not hate

  18. Manny says:

    FYI Ross other than maybe two or three things we disagree on, we agree on most other things, including your postings on Big Jolly. I don’t think you are an idiot and I know I am not, so let us agree to disagree on guns and Davila,

    I am glad you pointed out the error they had in regards to the 12% increase, the person that posted the article knew or should have known he was playing with the numbers.

  19. Jason Hochman says:

    @Ross: Manny is not an idiot, he just has a hypertrophied racism detection cortical area. Now then, I love how you call people idiots, yet, you never have data to support your assertions.

Comments are closed.