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Houston Mayoral Runoff: 2 Polls, 2 Different Results

Despite the biased nature of both polls, we can draw some conclusions.


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A Dec. 1 poll by conservative business group Houston Realty Business Coalition has Bill King winning, 48 to 43 percent, with a margin of error of 4 percent.

It comes with an endorsement of King by the group's chairman, Alan Hassenflu.

Just two days earlier, opinion research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates conducted a poll for the Sylvester Turner campaign.

It has Turner in the lead, 47 to 40 percent – same margin of error.

"I'm not shocked they come to different conclusions," said Richard Murray, a political science professor at the University of Houston.

He does think Turner's poll is more realistic in regards to demographics.

The poll favoring King includes 34 percent Republicans and 38 percent Democrats.

In Turner's poll, 44 percent of those surveyed identified as Democrats or leaning Democratic. Thirty percent said there were Republicans or leaning Republican.

Houston generally has a higher proportion of Democratic voters, as was true in the Nov. 3 election.

Keep in mind that Turner is a Democrat and King is generally favored by Republicans.

"The general election, I think, was about 55 percent Democratic and 45 percent Republican or Republican-leaning," Murray said.

He said about the same numbers are true for the early voting in the runoff so far.

In the first two days, more than 43,000 Houstonians voted.

Early voting runs through Tuesday and Election Day for the runoff is on Dec. 12.