ABQ Journal Poll On Mayor’s Race: 53% Keller, 20% Gonzales and 13% Aragon; Dissecting And Consolidating Poll Results; Comparing The Three Most Recent Polls; Runoff Not Likely

On Sunday, October 24, the Albuquerque Journal published 3 separate articles on a poll it commissioned for the 2021 Mayor’s race. All 3 of the articles were written by Journal staff reporter Jessica Dyer.

The front-page headline article entitled “Keller has large lead over mayoral opponents” and reported the poll results 53% Tim Keller, 20% Manny Gonzales and 13% Eddy Aragon.

Two separate articles were also published, one on Mayor Tim Keller entitled “Half of city voters favor Keller’s job performance”, published on page A-8 and one on Sheriff Manny Gonzales entitled “Gonzales’ current job approval stands at 34%”, published on page A-9.

The poll was conducted by Research and Polling, the most respected, most accurate and most reliable polling company in the state with Brian Sanderoff as the chief principal. The Albuquerque Journal has used Research and Polling for decades as its exclusive pollster.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The poll was conducted from October 15 through October 21. This time frame is important to note in that on October 19 the televised debate on Channel 4 between the candidates occurred. During the debate, Sheriff Manny Gonzales made salacious and false accusations that Mayor Tim Keller had an affair, that he was involved in a domestic violence incident and that a “high-ranking city official who was driving drunk and was involved driving a city vehicle and involved in a crash.” COO Lawrence Rael has been identified as the city employee having a car accident, but Gonzales lied in the debate that Rael had been drunk driving. It is difficult to gage if Manny Gonzales’ debate performance had any impact on the poll results.

The Journal Poll is based on a scientific, citywide sample of 536 likely regular local election voters, including those who voted in the 2017 and/or 2019 local elections and a small sample of newly registered voters likely to vote in 2021. According to the Journal report:

“All interviews were conducted by live, professional interviewers, with multiple callbacks to households that did not initially answer the phone. Both cellphone numbers (82%) and landlines (18%) were used. The voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.”


This blog article is a dissection and consolidation of all 3 poll articles on the candidates quoting only the reported poll results and deleting narrative and interpretations to allow the readers to come to their own conclusions. The links to all 3 articles are here:





Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles:

“Over half of the city’s likely voters – 53% – say they already have or would vote for Keller, more than the two other candidates on the ballot combined. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales polled at 20%, while radio host Eddy Aragon is at 13%. Results of the poll show 12% of voters remain undecided.”

Keller, a Democrat, has a commanding lead among Democrats, with support from 78% of those polled.

Gonzales is also a registered Democrat … has support from just 8% of Democrats compared with 38% of Republicans.

Aragon, a radio station owner and conservative talk show host, is the only Republican on the ballot .. He has 29% of the Republican vote, the poll shows.”

“Gonzales and Aragon are battling for Republicans [which] represent approximately a third of the voters in this election.”

“… the poll … showed that more than half those who planned to vote for Gonzales selected Aragon as their second choice and those who planned to vote for Aragon named Gonzales as their second choice.”

“Keller supporters are more likely to have no one as a second choice.”

The link to the Journal front page article with graphics and photos of the 3 candidates is here



Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles

“Slightly more Albuquerque voters are willing to cast ballots for Tim Keller this fall than think he is doing a good job as mayor.”

“Although 53% of likely voters in the city say they have voted for Keller or will vote for him, his approval rating in the same poll is 50%.”

“Thirty-six percent of likely voters disapprove of the job [Keller] is doing, and 12% say they have mixed feelings.”

“Keller … has historically enjoyed higher ratings; his job approval rating was 60% a year ago and 61% in 2018.”

Among Democrats, Keller has a 72% approval rating and 14% disapproval rating. It is nearly the opposite with Republicans – 18% approve, and 70% disapprove [of Keller.]
… a year ago, 33% of Republicans had given Keller a favorable review.”
… .

Independents are split on Keller, with 40% approving and 41% disapproving.

In other demographic breakdowns, women are more likely to give him positive reviews, with 56% approving, compared with 44% of men.

Although 80% of survey respondents who said they were voting for Keller in the Nov. 2 election say they approve of how he’s doing as mayor, 12% say they have mixed feelings and 7% say they disapprove.

The link to the full Journal front page article quoted is here:


The link to the Journal article on Keller’s job performance polling is


According to the Journal Poll, Democrat Mayor Tim Keller’s 53% support breaks down as follows:


47% support from males
59% support from females


47% high school graduate or less
44% some college
53 % college degree
65% Graduate Degree




According to the Journal poll, Keller’s “approve/disapprove” ratings on handling his job as mayor are as follows:


44% of males approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor
44% of males disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor


72% of Democrats approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
14% of Democrats disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

18% of Republicans approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
70% of Republicans disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

40% of Independents approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
41% of Independents disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

The link to the separate Journal articles with graphics and photos of Mayor Keller is here:




Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles:

“[Sheriff Manny Gonzales] has a job approval rating of 34% and a disapproval rating of 43% … Another 15% of voters have mixed feelings.
Gonzales first won the sheriff’s job in 2014 and then scored a 10-point win in his 2018 reelection bid.

Although Gonzales was elected as a Democrat and remains registered with the party, he has little support within it.

Only 19% of Democrats approve of how he’s handled his job, compared with 59% [democrats] who disapprove.

[Sheriff Gonzales] rates better with independents – 44% approve, compared with 28% who disapprove …

[Gonzales] ranks the best with Republicans. Fifty-four percent approve, and 23% disapprove.

Approval also broke on other lines, including gender. Forty percent of men rate his performance positively but only 29% of women do the same.

Meanwhile, older voters are particularly unhappy with the sheriff, with 51% of those ages 65-plus expressing disapproval – considerably higher than any other age group.

According to the Journal Poll, Democrat Sheriff Gonzales’ 20% support breaks down as follows:


23% support from males
17% support from females


20% high school graduate or less
26% some college
21 % college degree
13% Graduate Degree





40% of males approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
40% of males disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.


29% of Democrats approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
46% of Democrats disapprove ofManny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

54% of Republicans approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
23% of Republicans disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

44% of Independents approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
28% of Independents disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

The link to the full Albuquerque Journal article on all 3 candidates is here:


The link to the Albuquerque Journal article on Sheriff Gonzales’ approval rating is here:



“Aragon, a radio station owner and conservative talk show host, is the only Republican on the ballot .. He has 29% of the Republican vote, the poll shows.”

“Gonzales and Aragon are battling for Republicans [which] represent approximately a third of the voters in this election. “

According to the Journal Poll, Aragon’s 13% support breaks down as follows:


15% support from males
12% support from females


17% Highschool graduate or less
19% Some college
11% College degree
10% Graduate Degree




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 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 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.”

The link to the The Paper news report is here:



On October 24, KOB-4 reported on a poll it commissioned with SURVEY USA. The poll was taken from October 12, 2021 to October 18, 2021 before the October 19 live debate sponsored by KOB 4 between the candidates where KOB news reporter Chris Ramirez was one of the 2 moderators. Survey USA interviewed 800 adults from the city. Of the adults, 674 were identified as being registered to vote; of the registered voters, 576 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the November election for Mayor, or to have already cast their ballot.

KOB 4 news reporter Chris Ramirez reported as follows:

“Results from a poll paid for by KOB 4 and conducted by the national, non-partisan polling company Survey USA reveal it’s very possible Albuquerque’s mayoral race will be forced into a December 7 runoff …

The link to the full exclusive KOB Survey is here:


We asked the question: If you were filing out your ballot for Albuquerque mayor today, and these were the only candidates, who would you vote for?

Results of all respondents:

• Tim Keller 41%
• Manny Gonzales 22%
• Eddy Aragon 18%
• Undecided 18%

In order to win an election in Albuquerque, candidates must win with 50% plus 1 of the total vote. Our polling suggest no candidate may win with those margins, forcing a runoff election. Our poling shows all three candidates aren’t particularly popular with Albuquerque voters.

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Tim Keller?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 38%
• Unfavorable 36%
• Neutral 23%
• Unfamiliar 2%
• Not Sure 1%

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Manny Gonzales?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 27%
• Unfavorable 35%
• Neutral 24%
• Unfamiliar 10%
• Not Sure 4%

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Eddy Aragon?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 23%
• Unfavorable 23%
• Neutral 27%
• Unfamiliar 23%
• Not Sure 5%

The next question may reveal why the candidates are so unpopular. A majority of those polled think the city is on the wrong track.

We asked the question: Overall, are things in Albuquerque headed in the right direction? Or off on the wrong track?

Results of all respondents:

• Right Direction 34%
• Wrong Track 54%
• Not Sure 12%

Crime ranks as the top single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque.

We asked the question: Which of the following is the single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque today?

Results of all respondents:

• Crime 60%
• Education 10%
• Homelessness 14%
• Econ. Development 9%
• Jobs 3%
• Other 3%
• Not Sure 1%”

The link to the entire KOB-4 report is here:



When you compare the more recent Albuquerque Journal poll to the Paper (PPP) poll, Mayor Keller has increased his support by a full 6% going from 47% support in the PPP poll to 53% in the Journal poll. Gonzales support remained essentially the same with 21% in the PPP poll and going down by only 1% in the Journal poll to 20%. Aragon’s support increased by a mere 2% going from 11% in the PPP poll to 13% in the Journal poll.

When you compare the Journal Poll with the KOB poll, Keller still has a 19% lead at 41% over Gonzales with 22% and Keller has more than a 2 to one lead with 41% over Aragon at 18%. The Survey USA poll has Keller with 41% which is a mere 1% more of the 40% combined with Gonzales 22% and Aragon’s 18% . The Undecided of 18% is not at all likely to break entirely to anyone candidate, but it could force a runoff. Further, the momentum in the race has now shifted to Mayor Keller after Sheriff Gonzales disastrous Channel 4 debate performance falsely accusing Keller of having an affair and falsely accusing COO Lawrence Rael of DWI.

The biggest concern for all 3 candidates in the Survey USA poll is how disliked all 3 are with voters. Keller has an unfavorable rating of 36% to his 38% favorable rating, Gonzales has a 35% unfavorable rating to his 27% favorable rating and Aragon has a 23% unfavorable rating and ties with his favorable rating of 23%.

The Survey USA confirmed what many already know and that is the single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque today is crime at 60%. This is probably the main reason Keller’s popularity has declined by at least 10% and probably more. The PPP poll released October 5 by The Paper found that almost 1/3 of Keller’s 2017 voters said they were not ready to vote for him again, and Keller won that election in the runoff by a landslide securing 62.2% of the vote to 37.8% for Republican Dan Lewis.


Albuquerque’s city charter requires that for a mayoral candidate to win on a first ballot, the successful candidate must get at least 50% plus one of the vote. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two contenders move to a runoff.

Mayor Tim Keller has double digit leads in all three of the polls taken in October. That is not at all likely to change in the few days remaining until November 2 election day. Keller now has the momentum in the race where undecided voters will break his way thanks to the very public, very personal and very false attacks made by Manny Gonzales against Keller. Keller’s momentum should be great enough for him to win outright on November 2, an if not, he will win in a run off against either Gonzales or Aragon.

Polls tend to be self fulfilling prophesies condemned by many, especially those who are shown to be losing. Based on the Journal Poll, Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Radio Talk Show Host Eddy Aragon have lost the 2021 Mayor’s race to Incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and likely do not believe they are doing as badly as the poll has found. Sheriff Gonzales has also managed to lose his own personal reputation of honesty and integrity, what little he had left after his reliance on forgeries and fraudulent documents to try and secure $630,000 in public finance.


The Journal poll has confirmed what many said about Eddy Aragon when he announced he was running for Mayor and qualified to get on the ballot. Eddy Aragon was the “conservative spoiler” in the race that siphoned off Republican votes from Manny Gonzales and having absolutely no effect on Keller’s support. Aragon with his talk show is on the same level as FOX News and the likes of Sean Hannity. Aragon enjoys badgering and taking issue with anyone who is Democrat or he considers progressive and that did not work in a city that is decisively Democrat.


The candidacy of Sheriff Manny Gonzales suffered immensely as a result of Aragon on the ballot. It’s no secret that Manny Gonzales was attempting to build a coalition of conservative democrats, traditional Republicans and include Der Führer Trump Republicans. After Gonzales traveled to the White House last summer to appear with Der Führer and after working and appearing with former Republican Attorney General William Barr, Gonzales became “persona non gratis” within the Democratic Party to the point some within the party demanded he resign. He is now considered a Democrat In Name Only (DINO). Gonzales appearing on FOX News to oppose Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health orders also alienated many Democrats.

This whole mess of the 2021 Mayor’s election will be known as the campaign of “The liar and the lies he told during a live debate.” The allegations of DWI or other criminal conduct was nothing more than sure speculation and falsehoods by an elected law enforcement official desperately trying to continue with his political career. Sheriff Gonzales is the same candidate for Mayor that argued he was denied “due process of law” when his campaign was denied public finance by the city clerk, yet he makes salacious accusations and false accusations of DWI assuming guilt without due process of law afforded to those he has accused without any proof.

Sheriff Gonzales has failed to identify the 2 high-ranking members of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) he alleges have direct knowledge of the domestic incident involving the Keller family and an allege affair. As a law enforcement official, Sheriff Gonzales must be held to a higher standard. He has taken an oath office to uphold the law and knows that law enforcement at all levels must tell the truth. He knows he can discipline his deputies if they lie and even terminate them if they commit perjury. Gonzales has committed perjury in the court of public opinion with his lies and he knows damn well that he accused Keller of a crime and accused another of DWI with virtually no proof and he needs to be held accountable.

If Sheriff Manny Gonzales has any shred of honesty or integrity left, he should admit to his lies and apologize to Mayor Tim Keller, the Keller family and COO Lawrence Rael. If he has any shred decency left, he should withdraw from the Mayor’s race and resign as Bernalillo County Sheriff and simply retire from law enforcement. Notwithstanding, his public service career as an elected official will be going no further than being Sheriff


Mayor Tim Keller can take great comfort in the polls that indicate he is on his way to being elected to a second term. What he cannot take comfort in is that his popularity and his approval ratings have taken a major hit. He was first elected in 2017 by beating first all 7 of his opponents to get into a runoff and then going on to win by a landslide. A year ago he had a 61% approval rating. Even with his constant, daily search for attention and news coverage, his job approval rating is now at 50%. This is likely because of the pandemic and his failure to keep his promise of reducing crime.

Keller’s accomplishments over the last 4 years have been less than stellar. The city’s high murder rate is rising even further. Violent crime and murders are still increasing. Keller has not come close to the change he promised in 2017. Keller failed to make the sweeping changes to the Albuquerque Police Department, and his promised implementation of the DOJ reforms stalled so much that he fired his first chief. Keller has appointed Harold Medina – who has a nefarious past with the use of deadly force against two people suffering from psychotic episodes – permanent chief. Keller is not even close to reaching the 1,200 sworn police officers promised nor to community-based policing. Keller’s promise to bring down violent crime never materialized and his four programs to bring down violent crime have failed. For three years of his term, murders have hit an all-time record, with many still unsolved.

The downside to winning a second term for Keller is that nothing is going to change much for him over the next 4 years. After 4 years in office, Mayor Tim Keller under his leadership still has a police department that is failing miserably to police itself, is in a catastrophic meltdown and the public is still waiting for results in reducing violent crime which has only gotten worse under his tenure. Keller has only himself to blame given the fact he promised to bring down crime, implement the police reforms and he personally selected those in charge of APD and he went back on his campaign promise to hire a new Chief from outside the agency.

Consecutive second terms are usually worse than first terms for mayor if they get one, just ask former Mayors Chavez and Berry who served consecutive terms. All the problems we have now will still exist, including skyrocketing violent crime rates, APD failing to come into compliance with the DOJ consent decree, and an ever-shirking APD, spiking homeless numbers, increasing poverty, no measurable economic development and a ghost of a downtown.

Mayor Tim Keller can be thankful that he has had two very weak candidates this election cycle. Keller has had a very charmed political career thus far filled with opportunism as he jumped from state senator to state auditor both time’s in mid term and then ran for Mayor. The charm and opportunism may not likely be the case in 4 years if his popularity continues on the downward spiral and if he wants a third term as Mayor or seeks to run for Governor or an elected federal office where he would have to run against and incumbent Democrat.

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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.