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Tim Keller, Brian Colón leading race for mayor, poll reveals

Tim Keller, Brian Colón leading race for mayor, poll reveals

Caleb James
September 08, 2017 12:34 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In a little more than three weeks, voters will elect a new mayor in Albuquerque, a city plagued by crime and seeking answers to serious problems. Eight candidates vying for the city's top job.

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A new poll suggests it's a head-to-head race, revealing Tim Keller has some fierce competition from Brian Colón.  Keller has been consistently polling double digits in a race of eight candidates, but according to the latest polling figures from Carroll Strategies, he's got company.

"Brian has jumped -- almost doubled his vote -- in a week," said Tom Carroll, president of Carroll Strategies. "He did that because he went on television early with an ad that was about crime.

Colón is the first candidate on TV, going on air last week with the state attorney general's endorsement. That could have boosted Colón's favorability among voters.

"And people saw that and they like that, so he's now in second place," Carroll said.

The two Democrats are leading the pack. Keller still holds strong at 22.6 percent to Colón's 19.3 percent, but that could change. Keller put an ad on TV after Carroll's poll was already in the field.

In what appears to be a race-within-the-race, Republicans Dan Lewis and Wayne Johnson are neck and neck. The poll puts both at 7.8 percent.

For the full poll results, click here.

The mayor's race isn't partisan, but party could likely play some role in voters' minds. Carroll said Lewis and Johnson may be hurting each other. Right now, all the Republicans together don't match Keller's count.

"They can't split the vote," Carroll said. "If they do, they're essentially going to put themselves out of business."

There are weeks to go and four more candidates. Michelle Garcia Holmes, Susan Wheeler Deichsel, Ricardo Chaves and Gus Pedrotty are all polling in low single digits. But Carroll says watch out.

"So now what you have is essentially a free-for-all coming," he said. "Even the candidates way down the ballot have $400,000 or $500,000 to spend on TV. All the candidates will be jumping on TV now that they've seen Brian do well on television.

"You're going to see a very exciting next four weeks."

Early voting begins Sept. 17. The election is Oct. 3, but eight candidates spread out the vote quite a bit. If no candidate gets at least 50 percent, the top two will head to a November run-off election.

POLL: ALBUQUERQUE ON THE WRONG TRACK

The poll results showed crime is by far and away the biggest issue on people's minds right now.

Carroll Strategies asked registered voters to choose the most important issue facing the next mayor. Crime scored 64 percent, an undeniable first place. Jobs came in second with a relatively small 14 percent. Public school issues have just about 8 percent of folks concerned.

Voters were asked if Albuquerque is on the right track or the wrong track. That got some passionate response: 75 percent say the city is on the wrong track.

But the poll also reveals a lot in the details. Most respondents come from the northeast and northwest parts of the city.

"That's what changed about a year ago," Carroll said. "Crime has always been there, but suddenly the crime problem became something that was important to everyone in the city in every part of the city -- Northeast Heights, downtown area. It became paramount to people. It shows.

"It's city-wide. It's everyone, and everyone is making decisions based on the crime problem."

MOST OPPOSED TO ART, POLL SAYS

The poll asked whether people support the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project. Just 16 percent said they're for ART. An overwhelming 65 percent are opposed to the project and 19 percent said they were undecided or unfamiliar with the topic.

Credits

Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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