Recently the El Paso Politics published polling data that seems to indicate that Dee Margo is trending low in the polls. Oscar Leeser seems to be in the lead and two challengers, Veronica Carbajal and Carlos Gallinar are neck-to-neck for third place. This was before the ongoing battle between County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Margo. How and if the closure order battle between Margo and Samaniego has an impact on votes cast today and those to be cast on Tuesday is open to debate.
However, the polling data elicited comments about whether Carbajal or Gallinar are benefitting from the early voting turn out. The El Paso Politics analyzed the voting records of early voters to try to understand whether Carbajal or Gallinar are benefitting.
It is important to understand the methodology we used for our model. Readers may have noted that we titled this article Part I. We did so because the early voting data available to us is only for votes cast through Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Votes cast yesterday and today will not be available until tomorrow, at the earliest. When they become available we will update the model with the new numbers. That will be Part II.
The other item that should be considered is that voters in El Paso fall under two categories – those voters that cast votes county-wide and those who cast votes county-wide and in the city elections.
In the mayoral race only voters who cast votes in the city can vote for mayor.
Because the national race is amply covered, we have decided to focus on the race for mayor. Therefore, we analyzed only voters that cast votes in the city.
What We Found
Our analysis shows that new voters are not turning out in record numbers. Of the 164,859 votes cast in the city, only 3.53% are first time voters. More important is the age groups because they seem to suggest that the core demographic – older voters – for Oscar Leeser and Dee Margo are lower than expected.
First Time Young Voters
One of the narratives about the outcome of the election is whether young first-time voters will rally behind Veronica Carbajal. Carbajal has been targeting so-called progressive voters in her outreach.
Our analysis found that 1.13% of first-time voters are under 25 years old.
However, the turnout seems to suggest a younger voter demographic are casting votes this election cycle. This may suggest that Veronica Carbajal, Carlos Gallinar or both may have better results than the polls suggest.
As we indicated at the top, this is a preliminary analysis based on an incomplete data set. We will update our analysis in Part II when the rest of early voting numbers are released.
Note: Our analysis included mail-in ballots, however there seems to be a discrepancy on two dates. We are attempting to get clarification on the dates.