Keller-Lewis Runoff; Hold On To Your Seats For A Rough Ride

It was downright fun calling municipal election returns with Joe Monahan and the crew on KANW radio.

A 97,000 voter or a 29% turnout by far exceeded expectations!

I shocked the group when after seeing about a third of the results and I predicted Keller would get over 40% at the end while the panel all said his final vote would be 33%.

Within a few minutes, updated results had Keller with 41% and when he claimed victory on TV he had 40% with his final vote at 39%.

I am very pleased to see I still have the political instincts.

Now on to what I fear will be one of the nastiest and most negative runoffs seen in awhile.

Mr. Keller will be given $127,000 in public finance to run his campaign, while Mr. Lewis will be able to raise as much as he possibly can.

Mr. Keller’s measured finance committee will now go into overdrive to raise money

The race will be as much as chasing after money as is chasing after votes.

We can all expect negative ads and national money being poured into the race.

The municipal runoff election is scheduled for November 14, 2017.

What this means is that Mayor-elect Keller or Mayor-elect Lewis will have only two weeks for a transition team to get to work and come up with reports and make recommendations on what needs to be done.

I encourage Keller and Lewis to start trying to identify people who are professionals, not political operatives who worked on their campaigns, who can hit the ground running and become Department Directors.

The two biggest appointments will be who to appoint Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Police who are acceptable to the City Council and who can get confirmed by the council.

We were in that station until midnight, but Joe worked to 2:00 am this morning to get his blog article out.

Hope everyone had a chance to listen to the program.

Joe did and exceptional job with his day after election commentary on his blog.

My blog is my hobby, while New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan is Joe’s living.

Joe did a much better job than I could have ever done on what happened, therefore I am posting it on my blog for all to see.

Following is Joe Monahan’s full blog post in full:
http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/

“Good For You, ABQ! Voter Turnout Soars; Nearly 100,000 Come Out As Apathy Takes A Bath; Keller Blows The Doors Off For 1st In Mayor Derby; Lewis Takes 2nd; Sick Leave Gets The Flu; Incumbent Councilors Safe

Wow! You don’t hear that often from jaded observers of La Politica but we heard it in spades Tuesday night as the vote rolled in. . . and kept rolling in until we neared the nearly awe inspiring total of 100,000 city voters.

Unofficial results showed just about 98,000 voted in the mayoral contest. That came very close to beating the record set in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. And when we account for voters who went to the polls but did not vote in the mayoral race we may just beat the record.

That gladdened the hearts of those who have been fretting over a city that seemed to have accepted the historic crime wave, the ongoing economic stagnation and a political class that continually underestimated the city’s woes or simply denied them.

But voting, if anything, is an exercise is hope. And hope was the new Duke City fad Tuesday. You could only hope that unlike the miniskirt or Rubik’s cube, this fad was here to stay. It brought back fond memories of the city’s slogan during the go-go years of the 90’s–“Good for You, Albuquerque!”

But voting alone isn’t going to turn around a deeply troubled ABQ. It will take strong and determined mayoral leadership and Tuesday voters decided that it would be either Democrat Tim Keller or Republican Dan Lewis who is up to the task, but Keller more so and by a margin of landslide proportions.

KELLER VS. LEWIS

Keller aced the pollsters and pundits and secured 38,156 votes or 39.35 percent, just a shade shy of the 40 percent mark that used to be good enough to avoid a run-off election. But the rules changed and now a candidate needs 50 percent so State Auditor Keller, 39, will now engage in what is expected to be a rough and tumble run-off election with City Councilor Lewis, 47, who placed second with 22,238.

That huge gap between the two was a point of focus for our team of experts on our KANW 89.1 FM broadcast as the returns arrived onto their computer screens. Said former city councilor, longtime political consultant and ABQ attorney Greg Payne:

“Dan had to be hoping for a single digit separation between himself and Tim. This gap of close to 16 points makes it much more difficult for him to prevail in the run-off on November 14th. He will need something special to happen, if Keller is to be denied.”

That “something special” will likely take the form of an all out attack against Keller by Lewis. He told our radio audience that Keller is soft on crime, accusing him of having a program that he derisively labeled “hug a thug.”

Keller, nursing a victory that everyone knew was coming but no one imagined would be as big as it turned out, was not taking the bait and chuckled at the blistering. But he did dig at Lewis by saying he wants the finger-pointing over the crime wave to stop and indirectly mocked Lewis for blaming the judges. He said politicians need “to own responsibility for our city.”

It will have to be Lewis who plays the most offense as he tries to jar the ball loose from Keller’s now firm grip. In a city where Dems heavily outnumber R’s Keller starts with a decided advantage. For his part Lewis worked those numbers, telling us he has never been “a partisan figure” as he began the job of convincing D’s to come to his aid.

COLON’S PLAY

Keller was now seen getting the public endorsement of former NM Dem Party Chairman Brian Colón who finished third with 15,844 or 16.38 percent of the vote. Colón spent over $800,000, by far the most of any of the eight mayoral candidates, only to see an engaged electorate seek the more forceful messages offered by Keller and Lewis.

While Colón can be expected to publicly raise his hand for Keller, it remained uncertain if the former chairman, a consummate deal maker, would play any footsie with Lewis who sorely needs Colón Democrats if he is to have a realistic shot.

THE MONEY RACE

The money race begins today along with the vote chase. Will the GOP and its associated groups shrug off the big margin between Keller and Lewis and still go all in with their contributions or will they hold back, fearing a Mayor Keller could call them to account?

And how will Keller’s effort be financed? He opted for public financing and only gets $125,000 for the run-off. Lewis can raise as much as he wants. What third party groups will come to Keller’s aid and will that create controversy? And will a third party financed campaign be as effective as Lewis’s who can run his own show?

Another question: We had nearly 100,000 cast ballots in the first round. But that is sure to drop in the second round. How will that play out?

While Lewis will hammer Keller on crime, lurking in the background is Lewis’s association with conservative church leader Reverend Smotherman as well as his endorsement from the National Rifle Association which suddenly looks much less valuable in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern US history this week in Las Vegas.

TURNOUT TALE

Former State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones let out a “Yipee” when former BernCo GOP Chairman Rick Abraham announced at KANW that the turnout had closed in on the 100,000 mark. It was that kind of night for Dems, Republicans, Independents and anyone else who cares deeply about the future of our city. They all agree that only a spirited and passionate debate about the city’s future can pull us out of what some have likened to a death spiral.

So what was behind the unpredicted turnout surge?

Payne and I discussed it in detail and came up with these theories:

–Keller’s campaign had put unprecedented energy into the “ground game” mobilizing some 400 volunteers to get out his vote–and they did.
–The controversial sick leave ordinance, which was narrowly defeated, energized both foes and supporters when the final polling showed the outcome too close to call.
–Then there was Las Vegas. Did that horrific crime hit home in ABQ where everyday folks are fed up with the constant barrage of thefts and violence? It very well may have, posited longtime Democratic activist and former NM Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson.

Whatever the reasons, it was a welcome reprieve from the long decline in voter participation in city elections. With about 316,000 registered voters the turnout amounted to nearly 31 percent, but it was the raw total of nearly six figures that really brought out the grins.

CITY COUNCIL ACTION

Incumbent Dem Councilor Ken Sanchez on the westside and Republican Don Harris on the east side coasted to easy re-election victories, crossing the 50 percent threshold to avoid a run-off. Ditto for NE Heights Dem incumbent Diane Gibson. Her race also ended in a rout, sending her back to the council for another four years.

In District 5, the westside council seat Dan Lewis is giving up to run for mayor, an exciting run-off will be held between Republican Robert Aragon and Dem Cynthia Borrego who finished just a few points behind him. If Borrgeo pulls off the upset the council would go from a 5 to 4 Dem majority to a 6 to 3 Dem majority. That would be a veto-proof council, if the next mayor were a Dem.

SICK LEAVE FAILS

The vote on the proposed ordinance to mandate sick leave for all city employees–both full-time and part-time–was narrowly defeated late Tuesday–50.39 to 49.61 percent.

Gerges Scott, who helped run the campaign against the measure from his perch at DW Turner PR, credited Dems who crossed over to vote against the ordinance.

Supporters of the proposal–financed mainly by out-of-town interests–spent well over $500,000 on the effort to pass it while the opponents never came close to that total. But the ordinance was so badly worded that even leading Dem supporters said they would work to change it if it passed. That kind of messaging sure didn’t help.

THE BOTTOM LINES

A hearty thanks to my radio team, one of the best we’ve had in nearly 30 years of calling elections for public radio. We finished about midnight, late for a city election as we waited for the final sick leave count. I am writing to you at 2 a.m. and want to sign off by also thanking you for your continued interest and support. It makes it a whole lot of fun. Now let’s get ready for that run-off election.”

New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan
JOEMONAHANSNEWMEXICO.BLOGSPOT.COM

“Tame The Savageness Of Man And Make Gentle The Life Of This World” ― Aeschylus

I was glued to the TV news stations most of the day watching the national news reports of what happened in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The reports of the largest mass shooting in this county’s history with at least 59 dead and at least 515 injured were shocking and heartbreaking.

The cell phone camera videos recorded all the pure evil unfolding.

The “pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop” of rapid gunfire was first thought to be firecrackers going off and joy turned to absolute terror as the shooting went on for fifteen minutes while people fled in terror and disbelief and people dropped like flies after being shot.

The local area hospitals were reported looking like “Mash Units”.

To be sure there were acts of heroism that are emerging reflecting how people went to the aide of strangers.

A 64-year-old American killing and shooting high capacity weapons from the 32th story of a building at a crowd of 22,000 attending a country and western concert on the Las Vegas strip and killing and injuring so many others without any apparent motive can only be described as just plain evil.

The Las Vegas massacre was not the result of “radical Islamic terrorist” nor of any terrorist organization.

According to news reports, and law enforcement are finding it extremely difficult to find any motive nor rational for the shooting.

The 64 year old gunman, was twice divorced, had a girlfriend, had no criminal history, no history of mental illness, he had substantial wealth, he lived in a “gated” retirement community living in a $360,000 two bedroom home, and according to his brother, “he was a big gambler who could afford to gamble”, won $40,000 recently at a slot machine, and he had “no affiliation, no religion, no politics … he never cared about any of that stuff” … and “He was a guy who had money, went on cruises and gambled” according to his brother and would take care of his 90 year old mother’s needs.

When is the absolute madness and gun violence going to stop in this country?

The Las Vegas mass shooting will now be added to our ever-growing list of mass murders and gun violence incidents described by the locations where they occurred: Dallas Police Shootings, Orlando Massacre, San Bernardino Massacre, South Carolina Church Massacre, Boston Massacre, Sandy Hook Massacre, Columbine Massacre, Columbus Massacre, VA Tech Massacre just to mention a few.

What is our country coming to, what are we becoming as a nation, what are we doing to ourselves?

We will now have another period of mourning, more funeral’s, more tears, more nightly vigils followed by arguments over gun control, followed by silence and inaction by our elected officials as we move on to yet another crisis and no doubt another mass shooting in a few more months.

Gun rights advocates and opponents, law enforcement and our elected officials need to find a solution to the gun violence in this country before this country can stop spiraling into total civil war.

Each time one of these massacres occur, we slowly lose our freedoms.

As Americans, we need to come together, be tolerant and respect each other, confront our demons and aside our differences and seek within ourselves to find solutions to our problems, our differences, before we destroy ourselves, and lose the freedoms we enjoy and lose our country to total violence and chaos.

May God bless the victims and the families of the Las Vegas massacre and please Lord bless this country in these turbulent times and please give us the guidance and wisdom to handle yet another tragedy.

“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
― Aeschylus

“Show me the money!” Chapter 5

It has been reported $2.2 million has been raised by the candidates running for Mayor who are privately financed and the measured finance committees trying to affect the outcome of the mayoral race.

(See September 30, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page “2.2 Million raised in Alb Mayor Race; candidates with the most cash lead race”)

https://www.abqjournal.com/1071208/22m-raised-in-abq-mayoral-campaign-excerpt-candidates-with-the-most-cash-lead-race.html

The $2.2 million does not include the $508,000 that Ricardo Chaves gave his own campaign before pulling out of the race and it does not include the $343,000 given to Tim Keller the only public financed candidate.

If you add it all up, at least $3,055,000 has been spent thus far in the Mayor’s race before the October 3, 2017 election.

In all four of the polls taken and made public by news agencies, Tim Keller, Brain Colón, Dan Lewis and Wayne Johnson are the top four candidates in the mayor’s race, with all the other candidates trailing in single digit poll numbers.

The candidates who have spent the most cash in the race lead in virtually all the polls in the eight (8) person race.

Brian Colón, an attorney and private attorney and former Democratic Party Chairman raised nearly $824,000 for his mayoral run according to campaign finance reports filed with the city clerk.

According to the finance reports filed with the city clerk:

Democrat Brain Colón has spent $798,000 and had $25,600 in the bank with additional amounts raised.

Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis has raised more than $555,000 and had $32,000 still available to spend.

Republican County Commissioner Wayne Johnson has raise $341,000 in campaign cash and still has $11,000 left.

Democrat State Auditor Tim Keller received $380,000 in public finance dollars and other “in-kind” cash donations and had only $500 left.

Independent and retired APD Police Detective Michelle Garcia Holmes raised nearly $45,000 in contributions and has about $9,800 left.

Democrat and recent UNM graduate Gus Pedrotty raised $17,500 and has $4,800 left.

Independent and co-founder of Urban ABQ Susan Wheeler-Deichsel received contributions of $13,000 in contributions and had a negative balance of $1,500 as reflected in the last reports.

Two measured finance committees have also raised and spent significant amounts of money on media:

1. ABQ Forward Together, which has been backed by numerous city unions, raised $360,000 to support Tim Keller’s bid with the committee having $37,000.

2. Make Albuquerque Safe, a committee backed by the owner of the Santolina development on the west side, raised $60,000 from two major donors each donating $30,000 to oppose Tim Keller and had spent all but $5,700 of the amount raised.

When you review the expenditures in the fiancé reports of the top four (4) candidates, most of the money raised has been spent on television ads, printed campaign materials and research and polling but more than a significant amount spent on political consultants has been spent.

Review of the fifth and final Campaign Finance Report for Mayor before the election and filed on September 29, 2017 with the City Clerk for the reporting period of September 8, 2017 to September 28, 2017, reflect the following for each of the four (4) top candidates:

TIM KELLER CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Democrat Tim Keller is the only “publicly finance” candidate for Mayor.

The Keller September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $13,958.36 and that $13,458 was spent and the closing balance for the reporting period is $500.

Notable expenditures for the Tim Keller campaign include $3,000 to PUTMAN PARTNERS of Washington, DC for “MEDIA”, and $3,000, $1,235, $5,000, $935, and $692 to RIO STATEGIES, Alan Packman, the longtime political consultants for Mr. Keller, for Professional Services.

It is expected Mr. Keller will be in the runoff and his campaign will be given approximately $126,000 more in public finance funds.

BRIAN COLON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Colon September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $114,175 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is $25,644 and spent $125,142 during the reporting period.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions and reported in the September 22, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Brian Colon for Mayor include the following donors: $5,000 from Lance Hough, $4,800 from Alicia Gardner, $2,500 from Jonathan Jaramillo, $2,350 from Roy Benson, $1,000 each from Alfred Martin, Samantha Adams, attorney Ahmad Assad, and Bruce Mallot.

Notable expenditures listed in the September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for the Brian Colon for Mayor include $99,075 Paid to CANAL Partners Media of Atlanta, Georgia for “media” and $25,000 paid to Bouchard Golds Communication of Austin, Texas.

DAN LEWIS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Dan Lewis September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $84,878.80 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is $32,280.12 and expenditures of $71,630.68 during the reporting period.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions and reported in the September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Dan Lewis for Mayor include the following donors at $1,000 each: Kelly Martinez, Nick Casale, K&J Ventures, Molly Martinez and David Chavez.

Notable expenditures listed in the September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for the Dan Lewis for Mayor campaign include $5,000, $16,798 paid to Stoneridge Group and $11,000 paid to Medium Buying.

WAYNE JOHNSON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Wayne Johnson September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $109,248.55 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is $11,008.08 and $116,687.97 was spent during the reporting period.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions and reported in the September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Wayne Johnson for Mayor include the following donors: $2,500 from Clines Corners Operating Company, $2,500 from TBIRD, Inc, $2,596 from John Bode, Bode Aviation, $2,500 from Steve Chavez, $1,000 from Doug Clark.

In kind donations to Wayne Johnson for legal service include attorney Pat Rodgers and the Wilson Law Firm (Alan Wilson), $1,848.

Notable expenditures listed in the September 29, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for the Wayne Johnson for Mayor include $28,000 and $24,776 to Direct Edge and $61,780 to SRCP Media.

CONCLUSION

Election day is Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

If none of the eight (8) candidates on the ballot secures 50% of the vote, which is expected based on recent polls, a runoff will be held between the two top vote getters.

The runoff is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

The new Mayor of Albuquerque will be sworn in on December 1, 2017.

COMPARING THE GUT WRENCHING POLLS

Since September 5, 2017, there have been five (5) opinion polls taken in the Mayor’s race that have been made public.

THE KRQE POLL

On September 5, 2017 KRQE reported the first poll in the 2017 Mayor’s race.
(http://krqe.com/2017/09/05/krqe-poll-albuquerque-voters-weigh-options-for-mayor-cite-crime-as-top-concern/)

The KRQE poll was one of 500 likely registered voters conducted by automatic phone calls with a margin of error of 5% which reduces accuracy.

The KRQE poll was taken before any of the candidates began to spend on radio and tv commercials.

KRQE reported each of the candidates polled as follows:

Democrat State Auditor Tim Keller – 22%
Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis – 11%
Former Democratic Party Chair Brian Colon – 10%
Republican County Commissioner Wayne Johnson – 8%
Independent retired APD Police Officer Michell Garcia-Holmes – 6%
Republican businessman Ricardo Chavez – 5%
Democrat Gus Pedrotty – 1%
Independent Susan Wheeler Diechel – 1%
UNDECIDED: 36%

The biggest winner in the KRQE poll, as with the two subsequent polls, was “undecided” at 36% or over one third of those polled still being undecided with the poll taken four weeks before the election.

The KOB CHANNEL 4 POLL:

On September 8, 2017 KOB reported a second poll.

http://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/mayoral-election-race-carroll-strategies-polling-albuquerque/4597439/?cat=500

The poll was conducted by Carol Strategies on September 3, 4, and 5, 2017.

The poll was one of 513 likely registered voters conducted by automatic phone calls with a margin of error of 4.3%.

KOB reported each of the candidates polled as follows:

Democrat State Auditor Tim Keller – 22.6%
Former Democratic Party Chair Brian Colon – 19.3%
Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis – 7.8%
Republican County Commissioner Wayne Johnson – 7.8%
Independent retired APD Police Officer Michell Garcia-Holmes – 5.8%
Republican businessman Ricardo Chavez – 3.5%
Democrat Gus Pedrotty – 1.9%
Independent Susan Wheeler Diechel – 1.8%
UNDECIDED: 30%

The biggest winner in the KOB poll was again “undecided” at 30% as compared to the 36% of undecided in the KRQE poll reported just one day earlier and the Journal poll at 32%.

FIRST ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL POLL

On Sunday, September 17, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal released its first poll by well-known pollster Brain Sanderoff with Research & Polling, with a 4% margin of error.

(See September 17,2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “Journal poll: Keller leads, but runoff almost certain”)

Following are the results of the September 17, 2017 Albuquerque Journal poll:

• Democrat first term New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller – 25%
• Former state Democratic Party Chairman and private attorney Brian Colón – 14%
• Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis – 13%
• Republican Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson – 7%
• Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes, a retired Albuquerque police detective – 4%
• Democrat Augustus “Gus” Pedrotty, recent UNM graduate – 3%
• Republican Ricardo Chaves and founder of Parking Company of America – 1%
• Independent Susan Wheeler-Deichsel and founder of the civic group Urban ABQ – 1%
UNDECIDED: 32%

THE PUBLIC POLICY POLLING (PPP) POLL

On September 28, 2017, the democrat leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) was made public by political blogger Joe Monahan.

Following are the complete PPP survey percentages as reported by Joe Monahan:

Democrat Tim Keller – 33%
Republican Dan Lewis- 17%
Democrat Brian Colon – 16%
Republican Wayne Johnson – 14%
Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes – 4%
Democrat Gus Pedroty – 4%
Republican Ricardo Chavez – 1%
Indpendant Susan Wheeler Diechel – 1%
UNDECIDED: 10%

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal released its second poll two days before the election by well-known pollster Brain Sanderoff with Research & Polling, with a 4% margin of error.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1071495/keller-leads-lewis-in-second-excerpt-runoff-still-likely-with-close-race-possible-for-second-spot.html

Following are the results of the October 1, 2017 Albuquerque Journal poll:

• Democrat first term New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller – 29%
• Former state Democratic Party Chairman and private attorney Brian Colón – 14%
• Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis – 18%
• Republican Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson – 10%
• Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes, a retired Albuquerque police detective – 4%
• Democrat Augustus “Gus” Pedrotty, recent UNM graduate – 4%
• Republican Ricardo Chaves and founder of Parking Company of America – 1%
• Independent Susan Wheeler-Deichsel and founder of the civic group Urban ABQ – 1%
UNDECIDED: 18%

GUT WRENCHING POLLS

What always makes me laugh is when the press and the politicos call the polls “scientific” believing the hype of the accuracy of the polls.

If Donald Trump proved anything by getting elected President it is that the political consultants and polls are nothing but a cottage industry fueled by the ambitions of career politicians and talking heads.

The Sunday, October 1, 2017 Albuquerque Journal banner, top of the fold headline, boldly claimed that Dan Lewis is in second with 18%.

The headline should have read “Lewis and Undecided Tied For Second” with each getting 18% in the Journal poll.

The PPP poll said that there was 10% undecided while the Journal poll says 18%.

By any measure, 18% undecided is still very high and can change the outcome of the race.

But then again, Lewis is one of the two the Albuquerque Journal endorsed just last week and I presume that Keller will never be endorsed by the Journal.

The Journal reported that Tim Keller increased his lead by 4% from 25% to 29% in its own two polls which has a margin of error of 4%, but the PPP polls proclaimed that Keller was at 33%, an 8% increase from the Journal’s first poll.

The PPP poll was done by a Democrat leaning pollster which may explain the results, at least in part.

COMMENTARY AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Having been on the receiving end of political polls, I cannot tell you just how discouraging it is because negative polls do have an emotional impact not only on a candidate but their supporters and donors.

Donors once they see low poll numbers quickly become very reluctant to donate.

Voters too often change their mind when they see low poll numbers.

Please imagine going through a brutal campaign for a year or more, enduring constant criticism from all sides, being attacked with lies and smears in private and on the internet, knocking yourself out emotionally, trying to raise money, gather signatures to get on the ballot, exposing your family to emotional hardships, taking time away from your family, not to mention dealing with news reporters trying to make a name for themselves or sell papers and increase TV ratings, and a poll is released one or two days before and election telling you all what you did has been a waste of time for you.

Many political pollsters, consultants and the press know full well that their political polls all too often become self-fulling prophesies, even when all such polls are only of a few hundred people.

It is my belief that the press do the voting public a real disservice when they reveal the results of polls so close to an election and report them as news instead of letting people decide on their own and just let them go and vote.

Polls reduce elections to nothing more than high school popularity contests and to hell with the issues, and we wonder why voter turnouts are so low.

Why bother even having elections and having campaigns when we can all just save a lot of time, save millions, emotions, arguments and hurt feelings, do a poll, and swear in the person who comes in first, that way we would have sworn in Hillary Clinton as President.

Then again, it just might be a clever idea, given who we have as President.

To the candidates, press on, ignore the polls, do your best and know full well there is life and indeed happiness after an election.

Welcome To The 11th Floor Sucker!

Time Running Out For ART Funding

This Alb Free Press article reports that time is running out to get the $69 million from the Federal Transportation administration for the ART Bus project. I imagine the City’s Department of Finance has already calculated and printed a $69 million dollar bill owed to Berry’s Buddy Contractors Bradbury & Stamm for the ART bus project that Berry will give to the new Mayor on December 1, 2017 after the swearing in. I can see it now, Berry will say “Welcome to the 11th Floor sucker! You owe it Mayor and there is not a damn thing you can do about it! . Oh by the way, the City’s risk management division is underfunded because we settled another police misconduct case for another $200 million, just kidding. APD is your problem now! Bye, bye, have a nice four years, I’m outta here!”

Shifting Polls Reveal Keller In Runoff, Second Place Too Close To Call

On Sunday, September 17, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal released its long-anticipated poll by well-known pollster Brain Sanderoff with Research & Polling.

(See September 17,2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “Journal poll: Keller leads, but runoff almost certain”)

Following are the results of the Albuquerque Journal poll:

• Democrat first term New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller – 25%
• Former state Democratic Party Chairman and private attorney Brian Colón – 14%
• Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis – 13%
• Republican Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson – 7%
• Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes, a retired Albuquerque police detective – 4%
• Democrat Augustus “Gus” Pedrotty, recent UNM graduate – 3%
• Republican Ricardo Chaves and founder of Parking Company of America – 1%
• Independent Susan Wheeler-Deichsel and founder of the civic group Urban ABQ – 1%
UNDECIDED: 32%

On September 28, 2017 Political blogger Joe Monahan with “New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan”, posted the most recent campaign survey conducted by the democrat leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP).

http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/

The PPP polls reflects that undecided voters have dropped by 20% between the two polls, from 32% in the Journal poll to 10% in the PPP poll.

The PPP poll reflects Tim Keller has increased his lead by 8% while the race for second place continues to be very tight between Dan Lewis, Brian Colon with Wayne Johnson now a contender for a second place finish.

The PPP poll was commissioned by the measured finance committee set up to promote Tim Keller for Mayor and it has raised over $220,000 to promote Keller’s candidacy.

The survey was conducted amongst 788 likely voters who use land lines, but was a weighted poll to make up for cell phone usage and the poll has a margin of error of 4%.

The poll was made up of 47% democrats, 38% Republicans and 15% Independents which reflects the projected voter turnout based on early voting figures.

The PPP poll has Democrat State Auditor with a very comfortable lead over the other seven (7) candidate with 33% of those polled which indicates Keller is highly likely to be in the runoff.

The race for second place finisher is way too close to call with Republican Dan Lewis at 17%, Democrat Brian Colon at 16% and Republican Wayne Johnson at 14%, with all three within the 4% margin of error.

Republican Recardo Chavez announced that he has withdrawn from the race and endorsed fellow Republican Dan Lewis.

Following are the complete PPP survey percentages as reported by Joe Monahan:

Democrat Tim Keller – 33%
Republican Dan Lewis- 17%
Democrat Brian Colon – 16%
Republican Wayne Johnson – 14%
Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes – 4%
Democrat Gus Pedroty – 4%
Republican Ricardo Chavez – 1%
Indpendant Susan Wheeler Diechel – 1%
UNDECIDED: 10%

PPP POLL ANALYSIS

The PPP poll points out two very distinct and possible scenarios for the outcome of the runoff to be held on November 14, 2017.

The PPP poll makes it clear that Tim Keller with 33% will be in the runoff and the 33% reflects what insiders were saying what Keller was at during the petition signature gathering process and public finance qualifying period.

The attack ads against Keller accusing him of being a sex offender sympathizer when he voted in favor as a Senate bill as a State Senator appear to have backfired and increased his support amongst undecided voters.

The PPP poll numbers indicate a Keller victory over either Republican Dan Lewis or Wayne Johnson but a much less certain outcome and a possible loss by Tim Keller to Brian Colon in a runoff.

In the PPP poll, Keller at 33% and Colon at 16% equals 49% which I suspect are the progressive democrats that are loyal Keller supporters at 33% and Colon’s 16% are the more moderate to conservative democrats.

Had Keller or Colon not run against each other, a first ballot victory would have gone very easily to either one with the combined base support of at least 49% reflected in the PPP poll (Keller at 33% + Colon at 16% = 49%) with additional votes from independents that are considered more likely to vote for a Democrat over a Republican.

Dan Lewis at 17%, Colon at 16% and Johnson at 14%, are all three within the 4% margin of error of each and their totals equal 47%.

Brian Colon will need over the next few days to secure a respectful amount of the undecided 10% of the vote reflected in the poll in order for him to get into the runoff.

Brian Colon has released a third TV commercial that highlights his family and has been sending out mailers targeting women democrats and independents.

The Dan Lewis and Wayne Johnson voters are probably the Conservative Republican base vote of at least 31% and it is doubtful they will vote for someone as progressive as Tim Keller in a runoff.

Lewis has released another television ad that highlights the stabbing of a victim by a career criminal released by a judge and once again makes the false claim that he can hold judges accountable.

Johnson has released and attack ad against Lewis highlighting his vote for $13 million dollars for the ART bus project and Lewis failure to show and vote against a sanctuary city policy and making the same false promise as Lewis that he will hold judges accountable.

Brian Colon in contrast to progressive Keller is a moderate pro-business democrat, Colon has a wider appeal to Republican voters over the Progressive Tim Keller in a runoff and would therefor get the lion’s share of the Republican vote, presuming they will vote and not stay home if there is no Republican in the runoff.

If Colon is not in runoff, Keller will pick up his 33%, Colon’s of 16%, progressive Pedrotty’s 4%, and Independent Susan Wheeler Deichels 1% for at least 54% without considering the remaining low percentages of the other candidates.

If Brian Colon is in the runoff with Keller, Colon picks up his 16%, the Lewis vote of 17%, the Johnson vote of 14%, the Chavez vote of 1% for 48% while Keller picks up his 33% base, Progressive Pedrotty’s 4%, Wheeler-Diechel’s 1% for 38%, with Colon and Keller splitting Garcia-Holmes Independent vote of 4% giving Colon a possible advantage at 50% to Keller’s 40%.

Obviously, there are number of other factors that will come into play, such as will Republicans get out to vote or sit out a runoff out if there are only two Democrats in the runoff.

Other factors include who will the undecided voters break for, what will be voter turnout in a runoff be and not to mention six weeks of rough and tumble campaigning and negative ads that are becoming more and more prevalent in the race.

What is certain in the runoff is that campaign donations are going to play a major factor.

Keller is the only publicly finance candidate and will receive approximately $125,000 automatically from the city for the runoff.

Keller has tremendous union financial support with his measured finance committee raising over $220,000 with most coming from organized labor.

Colon has raised $800,000 and is expected to be able to again raise large sums for a runoff.

It’s the Republican business community embodied by NAIOP, the Chamber of Commerce membership, the Economic Forum, the NM Business Coalition and Republican operatives who have the potential to raise large amounts of money to stop Tim Keller in a runoff.

The Albuquerque business community will want to preserve their city hall influence and their money will go to a Republican who makes it into a runoff or Brian Colon in a runoff.

CONCLUSION

Obviously the above is all speculation and is more for consumption by political junkies.

The Albuquerque Journal will be releasing its final poll this Sunday, October 1, 2017 two days before the October 3, 2017 election.

The only thing for sure is that the runoff is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017 and the new Mayor of Albuquerque will be sworn in on December 1, 2017.