According to a University of Houston survey conducted between June 27 and July 7, 2022, the race for Harris County Judge between incumbent Lina Hidalgo and challenger Alexandra Del Moral Mealer is a statistical dead heat. The poll showed Hidalgo leading 48%-47% among likely voters, with a margin of error of 5.47% - see the details below:
For Democrats, this situation is very frustrating since another U.H. poll recently showed Democrat Beto O'Rourke is leading Governor Greg Abbott by nine points in Harris County. Based on these polls, Hidalgo is obviously underperforming. Why? It appears Lina Hidalgo’s mismanagement of Harris County government is becoming apparent to many voters. In my opinion, I think we could probably survive all of Hidalgo’s left-wing “big government” ideology, wasteful spending programs, bloated county bureaucracy, backroom deals, incompetence (election administrator, JWEB fiascos), adversarial relationship with many law enforcement agencies, questionable ethics, and her inability to learn from, or even acknowledge, her own mistakes (she dismisses every criticism as a “political attack”). Most people are focused on their own lives and might not notice all those issues. What most people do notice, however, is Hidalgo’s lack of effective leadership, especially when it comes to the on-going violent crime wave, broken county courts & county jail, higher county taxes (through property appraisals), and county government corruption (alleged contract bid-rigging). By her own admission, Hidalgo expects to be personally indicted (not just her staff) in that on-going corruption scandal. Given all her baggage, I guess we really should be happy with a poll showing a “dead heat” in the race. If/when a grand jury does indict Hidalgo, her polling numbers will rightfully plummet. While Republicans might be ok with electing alleged crooks, most Democrats are not. Lina Hidalgo’s issues were well known before the March Democratic primary election. We could have avoided all this drama by nominating a highly qualified, moderate Democrat for County Judge like Mrs. Erica Davis (endorsed by this blog). Instead, the majority of Democratic voters stuck with Lina Hidalgo, so here we are. This is definitely an unforced error.
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UPDATE 9/8/22: A new University of Houston poll now has County Judge Hidalgo with a ten-point lead over her challenger, Alexandra Del Moral Mealer. It looks like Hidalgo's new-found commitment to supporting law enforcement and reducing crime is having a positive effect. If Judge Hidalgo is re-elected, we hope she maintains this focus on crime reduction, especially in historically under-served communities whose residents are more likely to be victimized by career criminals (repeat offenders). While wealthy neighborhoods can afford to hire "contract deputies" to patrol their communities and enhance their security, the rest of us have to hope our county officials stay committed to local law enforcement efforts.
UPDATE 10/24/22: The most recent University of Houston poll now has the race for Harris County Judge back to a statistical dead-heat, with challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer with a 2% lead over incumbent Lina Hidalgo (47% - 45%). Voters who are concerned primarily with violent crime, public safety, and ending government corruption strongly support Mealer. Voters who are primarily concerned more about abortion rights, voting rights, and racial equality favor Hidalgo (even though the County Judge's Office actually has almost nothing to do with creating or enforcing state or federal abortion laws). For all the details on the poll, please click on the link below:
NOTE: Election Day is November 8, 2022. To view our candidate endorsements, please click on the link below:
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