The City of Albuquerque municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 2. On the ballot will be the office for Mayor, the 5 odd numbered City Council Districts 1,3,5,7, and 9 seats and a voter bond approval request for $50 million dollars to build a soccer stadium as well as the offices of school board members. The 3 candidates for Mayor are Progressive Democrat incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Conservative Democrat Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Trump Republican Radio Talk Show Host Eddy Aragon. If no candidate secures 50% plus one of the vote, a run off will be held between the two top vote getters.
On October 5, the on-line news agency “The Paper” published a report on an opinion poll it commissioned with Public Policy Polling (PPP) . The poll was then reported upon by KOAT-TV.
The Paper has become the replacement for the “Weekly Alibi”, a decisively progressive leaning weekly publication which was sold a few years ago. One the principal owners and publishers of “The Paper” is self-proclaimed progressive Democrat Albquerquerqu City Councilor Pat Davis. Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to its web site, it “provides a highly accurate alternative to expensive traditional telephone surveys at a low cost with reliable accuracy.”
The link to the news reports are here:
EDITOR’S NOTE: The link to The Paper, where you can subscribe and donate to it is here:
PPP POLL RESULTS
The public opinion poll was of 793 likely voters with a margin of error 3.5%, plus or minus. The results of the PPP poll as reported by the Paper and KOAT TV are as follows:
Tim Keller: 47%,
Manny Gonzales: 21%,
Eddy Aragon: 11%
NOT SURE: 21%,”
The 3 major take aways from the raw percentage numbers are:
1. Mayor Keller needs to convince 3%, plus one, of the 21% not sure voters to avoid a runoff with 50%.
2. 34% of likely Albuquerque voters will not be voting for Keller and voting for Gonzales and Aragon combined.
3. The 21% “not sure” is somewhat high given the fact that the election is less than a month away. In other words, those who want someone else still can not figure out who else they want.
OTHER REVEALING POLL NUMBERS
Editing out the political commentary and analysis from the Paper report, the following information is quoted as gleaned from the report about the PPP poll:
“After a turbulent year under a pandemic and with violent crime reaching all-time highs, almost 1/3 of Keller’s 2017 voters aren’t ready to vote for him again. Almost 20% of respondents who say they voted for the mayor four years ago now have an unfavorable opinion of him and another 12% say they still don’t know.” …
Across the board, poll respondents indicated they did not know who [radio talk show host Eddy Aragon] is, to the tune of 63%. … [Aragon] as the lone registered Republican in the race does, however, pull votes away from the race’s other conservative, Democrat Sheriff Manny Gonzales. Some 27% of voters say they would vote for Gonzales in a runoff election after voting for Aragon in the first election.
[According to the poll] just 24% of voters see the sheriff favorably. … [The poll found that Gonzales is] unpopular with Hispanic voters [with] almost half, 45%, having an unfavorable opinion of Gonzales.
[According to the poll], Trump voters aren’t excited about Manny [ with the poll finding] 1 in 5 voters who said they voted for Trump over Biden say they have an unfavorable opinion of the sheriff. …
Tim Keller has majority support among women, both younger voters and older voters, Hispanic voters, and among Democrats or those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Although his overall favorability is in the red, 21% of likely voters are still undecided. That includes those 12% of his previous supporters who are still persuadable.”
OTHER POLLING NUMBERS
Confidential sources are saying that a poll that has been taken and not been released to the public is circulating showing that Tim Keller has already broken the 50% barrier with Gonzales and Aragon trailing by significand numbers. There are no details as to how many were polled, when the poll was taken, how it was taken nor of the margin of error.
Notwithstanding, on September 12, 2020, the Albuquerque Journal published a poll it commissioned that showed nearly three years into his first term as Albuquerque’s mayor, Tim Keller had nearly the same high level of support that he had less than one year after he took office. Among likely city voters, 60% approve of Keller’s performance, 22% disapproved of his performance and 19% had mixed feeling or did not know. That is close to the results of a 2018 Journal Poll that found Keller had a 61% approval rating after his first nine months in office, when many officeholders still experience “honeymoon” ratings. A link to the Journal article is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Four weeks in a political campaign with a low voter turnout, which is expected, is an eternity in politics and anything can happen. Keller is sitting on $524,709 in funding and he has already begun unleashing a relentless media ad campaign spending the lion’s share of that on TV.
The fact that Sheriff Gonzales is unpopular with Hispanic voters with almost half, or 45%, having an unfavorable opinion of him is a major setback to his candidacy. His unpopularity with Hispanic voters can likely be attributed to a number of issues including being viewed as a Democrat in Name Only (DINO) after his support of former President Trump, his opposition to lapel cameras, his opposition to the Governor’s health care orders regarding COVID, his failure to work other elected officials including the County Commission and the the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.
Unless Gonzales and Aragon can raise upwards of $300,000 each for a reasonable TV buy, it’s likely the Tim Keller will be elected to a second 4-year term on November 2, unless there is an October surprise that changes the outcome of the election and forces a runoff.
LINKS TO JOURNAL PROFILES
The Albuquerque Journal has published front-page Mayor candidate profiles and candidate “Question and Answer” articles on THE 3 candidates. Below are the links s in the order which they were published:
Conservative radio show host takes on Dems
“Q&A mayoral candidate Edward Joseph Aragon Jr.”
SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES
Gonzales vows to run Albuquerque in bipartisan fashion
Q&A mayoral candidate Manuel Gonzales III
MAYOR TIM KELLER
‘I’ve learned’: Keller touts real-world experience
Q&A mayoral candidate Tim Keller