First Mayoral Runoff Poll Released As Money Chase Begins

Two days after the municipal election, Channel 4 comes with the first poll for the November 14, 2017 runoff election.

You would think the press would at least give the candidates and voters a little time to catch their breath and let the dust settle from the October 3, 2017 election.

Following is the link to the Channel 4 report on the poll and the transcript:

Chris Ramirez, Channel 4 Reporter
October 05, 2017 10:18 PM

“ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tim Keller and Dan Lewis will square off for mayor in the Albuquerque runoff election. With the candidates narrowed down from to two, the big question is now: who would win? Polling data from this week offers a snapshot of what Albuquerque voters are thinking right now.

One day after Tuesday’s municipal election, Carroll Strategies asked by phone “If the election were held today, for whom would you vote for Mayor of Albuquerque?”

The poll shows Lewis has his work cut out for him, sitting 13 points behind Keller. Here’s the breakdown:

• 49.2 percent said Keller.
• 36.4 percent said Lewis.
• 14.4 percent were undecided or didn’t know

“What’s kind of surprising is that he’s knocking on the door of 50 percent, which is what he needs to win — 50 percent plus one,” said Tom Carroll, president of Carroll Strategies. “That’s a little unusual to see one candidate so close to victory.”

Crime is the biggest issue facing Albuquerque. When asked who would be best to handle Albuquerque’s crime problem, 47 percent said Keller while 35.2 percent said Lewis and 17.9 percent were undecided.

When asked who would be best to handle Albuquerque economy, 48.8 percent said Keller, 35.4 percent said Lewis and 15.9 were undecided or didn’t know.

“Dan has to let people know that on the key issues, crime, taxes, jobs, the economy, that he is the better candidate,” Carroll said. “If he does that, he a chance to make up the ground. If he doesn’t, Keller will sail to victory.”

Carrol Strategies asked whether the new mayor should cancel the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project on Central. Nearly a third said yes, nearly half said it needs to be completed, and nearly 18 percent said they did not know.

“In the polls we have done in the past, we have seen opposition to ART again and again as it moved through the process,” Carroll said. “But now it flipped and by 49 to 32, people are saying let’s finish the project.”


Although Democrat Tim Keller has a commanding lead with almost 50% in the first poll, there are six weeks before the runoff.

Democrat State Auditor Tim Keller is the only publicly finance candidate and received and spent $380,000 in public finance dollars and other “in-kind” cash donations to get into the runoff.

As the only publicly finance candidate, Keller will now be given $127,000 from the City to run his campaign.

Keller’s measured finance committee ABQ Forward Together raised $360,000 to support Tim Keller’s bid to get into the runoff and the committee had $37,000 remaining as reported in the last finance reports filed with the city clerk.

Keller’s measured finance committee will no doubt kick into full gear and try to raise another $360,000 if not more to get Keller elected Mayor.

Republican Dan Lewis is a privately financed candidate and raised and spent at least $523,000 to get in the runoff and had $32,000 still available to spend based on the last campaign finance reports filed with the city clerk.

You can expect Lewis will also kick into high gear and will need to raise at least $600,000 to be competitive and close the gap.

You can expect Dan Lewis to go extremely negative given that he already started to do so election night when he referred to Keller’s crime plan as “hug a thug”.

The runoff election is November 14, 2017 and six weeks of a rough and tumble campaign in politics is an eternity and anything can happen and usually does.

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

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

My suggestion to both Keller and Lewis is to shed the political consultants because governing is a far cry and a lot harder than running for office and surround yourself with people you can actually trust.

Four (4) years is a long time, but four (4) years may be all you get.

This entry was posted in Opinions by . Bookmark the permalink.


Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.