The latest poll of the Albuquerque mayoral race shows State Auditor Tim Keller leading the field, but still well below the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.
Other recent polls have also reflected Keller’s popularity among voters.
But all three polls, the Research and Polling, Inc. poll conducted for the Albuquerque Journal and two conducted earlier, show a high number of undecided voters. Election Day is Oct. 3 and early voting has already opened.
The Albuquerque Journal poll shows Keller with the support of 25 percent of likely voters, followed by attorney and former Democratic Party of New Mexico chairman Brian Colón (14 percent) and Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis (13 percent). No other candidate cracks double digits.
The poll came after news broke of ethics complaints against Keller and Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, who polled at 7 percent, but before a town hall televised on KOB-TV.
But a full 32 percent of voters says they are undecided.
To avoid a runoff, a candidate needs the support of 50 percent of voters. If no candidate receives 50 percent, the candidates with the two highest vote totals qualify for a November runoff election.
This means that Keller would need to get the support of nearly 80 percent of the undecided voters to avoid a runoff—a very unlikely occurrence.
That makes the race between Colón and Lewis for second place particularly interesting to watch on election night.
Lewis and Johnson are both Republicans, while Keller and Colón are Democrats. The race is nonpartisan, which means their party affiliations will not appear on the ballot. Parties and other groups can still participate in the elections.
The poll shows that Keller received the support of 38 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of independents.
Colón received the support of 18 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of independents.
Lewis received the most support from Republicans, 26 percent, and the second-most among independents, 17 percent.
Johnson received the support of 16 percent of Republicans.
The Journal also broke out support by ethnicity, and Keller received the most support among Anglos, at 27 percent. Colón received the most support among Hispanic likely voters, edging Keller 25 percent to 22 percent.
In all, there are eight candidates running for mayor this year.
A KRQE-TV poll showed Keller with the support of 22 percent of registered voters, followed Lewis at 11 percent, Colón at 10 percent and Johnson at 8 percent.
A Carroll Strategies poll showed Keller with the support of 23 percent of respondents, Colón at 10 percent and Lewis and Johnson each at 8 percent.
The poll of 516 voters was conducted by live interviewers over phone from Sept. 11 to 14 and called 44 percent cell phones and 56 percent landlines. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
The margin of errors for subcategories, which have smaller sample sizes, would be higher.