Today is Election Day, so I thought it would be fun to share the results of my exit poll, as well as some campaign finance numbers.
|Mayor of El Paso||87 Respondents|
|District 2||77 Respondents|
|District 4||76 Respondents|
|Municipal Court of Appeals||13 Respondents|
8 Day before Report
|Mayor of El Paso||Oscar Leeser||Dee Margo|
|Cash on Hand||$29,968||$34,292|
|District 2||Judy Gutierrez||Alexsandra Anello|
|Cash on Hand||$6,844||$1,101|
|District 4||Joe Molinar||Sam Morgan|
|Cash on Hand||$8002||$7,559|
July 15th – Oct 4
|Municipal Appeals Court||Maria Ramirez||Rebecca Tarango|
|Cash on Hand||$0||$74|
My Exit Poll
My company, Bancuet (bancuet.com), just developed new texting software to help candidates reach out to voters. I was also eager to try something that I have always wanted to do, polling by text. I have done exit polling before, but always by phone call or by standing outside a polling place and asking voters. While always small samples, the results have never misled me.
But this is my first time polling by text. We always hear that polls are often wrong, so I am doing this as an experiment to see how accurate, or inaccurate, a small sample size from texting can be.
I don’t think anybody needed an exit poll to know that Oscar Leeser was going to dominate this race. It was never a question who was going to win since Leeser announced he was running for Mayor. I think the poll is right in line with what most of us would be predicting anyway. Voters had their minds made up as soon as we were down to two candidates. Margo spending twice as much as Leeser is not going to make a difference.
This was the race where the results of the exit poll were shocking to me. I had Judy as a favorite, seeing her Nov 3 performance and knowing that she outraised Annello. Anyone that knows Judy’s background knows she is extremely viable with her experience working for District 2 at City Hall. So I was pretty surprised to see the first 12 respondents come back for Annello. Judy made a comeback after day 2 of voting but she could never catch her, and when I was done polling, Annello still had a comfortable lead.
So what happened?
First, it is important to understand that the type of voter that turns out for a runoff race in December is completely different from the voters that turnout for a Presidential election.
Imagine being the average voter: 62 year old latina, that only votes every four years, and has no idea who is running for City Council. But she is going to vote in the race anyway, because she doesn’t know she can leave it blank. So the only information this voter has are the names Judy Gutierrez and Alexsandra Annello. This type of voter is going to pick Gutierrez 4 out of 5 times. Here’s the thing though, that voter isn’t coming back to vote in the runoff election.
This is exactly the type of race where having an expert campaign team with solid experience in voter targeting and field execution is going to make a big difference, and here Annello undeniably had Gutierrez beat. I know for a fact Annello had several of El Paso’s top political minds helping on her campaign, and I know they were heavily focused on blockwalking. I know Judy had a dedicated campaign team, and they worked hard, but still, they were outworked, and by comparison, they lacked sophistication when it came to voter targeting and field execution.
But maybe my poll is nothing but rubbish, as it is a small sample, and Judy will be leading when Early Votes are in. It is possible, but like I said, I have never been misled by any exit poll I’ve conducted. However, I do think Judy may be closer, with something like 46% or even 47%, and if that’s the case, it is very possible for Judy to catch Annello on Election Day, depending on the efforts of her campaign on the ground.
Look, when you get arrested for “beating your wife” during your term, it is going to be very hard to win your race for re election. We all knew this would be Morgan’s last term as soon as the news of his arrest broke. Despite having no campaign experience, an inexperienced (but dedicated, smart, and hardworking) campaign team, and a modest budget, Joe Molinar will see victory over the incumbent. Maybe not as high a margin as the poll is showing but I would bet Molinar wins by at least 15% points.
Municipal Court of Appeals
This is a position that many feel should just be appointed by City Council, as there is definitely a lack of interest in these municipal court races. I sent out just as many texts to poll this race as I did for the others, and I only got 13 respondents. Several more simply said they didn’t know who the candidates were, and these were people who already voted.
Look, lawyers aren’t going to put up the big bucks to win a job that pays less than what they make in practice. As one lawyer told me, “If they (the other candidate) want it that bad, they can have it”. Understandably, to most attorney’s, it is not a position worth spending tens of thousands of dollars to campaign for, or even spending time phone calling and blockwalking. It really is a “I’ll put my name on the ballot and see what happens” type of candidacy in these races. Therefore, without the outreach, most voters will have no idea who the candidates are.
So yeah, 13 respondents is a pretty worthless poll. But I still do think Ramirez will be leading when Early Voting results are in. I mean, you can see that Ramirez heavily outspent Tarango. The big question is, by how much will she be leading. I’m going to guess 54% -46% just for fun.
By the way, you may have noticed that the campaign finance amounts I put for this race were not from this past 8 day report. Both candidates do not have their finance report posted on the city website. (If you know why, holla)