Posted at: 08/29/2013 5:38 PM
Updated at: 08/30/2013 8:48 AM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
New independent polling numbers are in for the race for mayor of Albuquerque and things are looking pretty rosy right now for incumbent Mayor Richard Berry. But keep in mind, this is New Mexico politics--things can change in a hurry.
The poll, commissioned by politics blogger Joe Monahan at joemonahan.com, shows Berry with 56 percent of the vote right now, Pete Dinelli trailing distantly at 19 percent and Paul Heh with just 4 percent of the vote. Twenty-one percent of the voters are undecided.
"The campaign, as far as television advertising and other kinds of advertising, hasn't really gotten into full swing," said UNM Political Science Prof. Tim Krebs, a specialist in municipal elections and government. "I think what it tells us right now is Berry is in a pretty good position for re-election."
Krebs says Dinelli, a Democrat, has to win over the lion's share of those undecided voters and peel away some of Republican Berry's support. Dinelli's goal, Krebs says, should be to hold Berry below 50 percent.
"It could be that he can get him under 50 percent," Krebs said. "In these kinds of contests, that's the key thing--to keep that frontrunner under the threshold to force that second election to force that runoff."
In that runoff scenario, Heh, who is also a Republican, would not be on the ballot, giving Dinelli a better shot at beating Berry.
The poll of 423 likely city voters was done by Bruce Donisthorpe of BWD Global. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 percent.