UH poll: Presidential election impacting local races

A UH survey this week shows a statistical dead heat between red and blue in the Lone Star State.

The contentious presidential debate could cause a big shake up down the ballot, with a new poll released Thursday by the University of Houston showing surprising results in Harris County.

The morning after the debate that grabbed eyeballs around the country came the sequel to the poll that that grabbed headlines nationwide. Part two of UH's survey shows Harris County's "certain" or "very likely" voters favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 7 points, with a 4 and a half percent margin of error.

"What is giving Hillary Clinton a competitive edge in the state and a big advantage in Harris County are newly registered and probably the voting Millennial Hispanics,” said KHOU 11 political analyst Bob Stein.

Hispanics have seen record voter registration numbers in an election that's expected to drive a record number of people to the polls.

"Democrats are more likely to vote straight ticket at a higher rate, 63%, than are Republicans now, talking about maybe 58 percent,” Stein said.

When it comes to who will be in charge of keeping criminals off Houston streets, Stein says the national races are making local numbers climb higher into the blue.

In the race for Harris County District Attorney, the same poll shows Democratic challenger Kim Ogg with a 7-point lead over Republican incumbent Devon Anderson, 40 percent to 33 percent. That’s up from a virtual tie, 30 to 29 percent, just four weeks ago.

Ogg credits the difference to the widely publicized incident involving a jailed rape victim and the loss of evidence in Precinct 4.

"People want a fair justice system, one that protects them, doesn't waste their money, and treats crime victims with respect,” Ogg said.

However, Anderson points to the timing of the poll, taken between Oct. 7 to Oct. 15, during what she calls a “blitz” of campaign ads she deems “misleading” and a huge donation from billionaire George Soros.

"People are angry,” Anderson said. “They are frightened because what has that bought? What does that mean? He's trying to buy the DA's office. We think the polling would be a lot different today."

Now Anderson's hitting the airwaves with her own ads. However, both candidates agree that the presidential race could have a big impact on their race.


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