On the first day of early voting, the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs released a poll of countywide Democrat primary races showing that incumbent district attorney Kim Ogg is trailing her opponent and former employee Sean Teare by 38 points.

Ogg, who took office in 2017, polled at 21 percent to Teare’s 59 percent among likely voters.

Harris County is the largest and most diverse county in the state and has been reliably blue in recent election cycles, indicating that the winner of the Democrat primary will likely win the general election.

Republican Dan Simons is running unopposed in the Republican Primary.

Teare led Ogg in every category: women, men, whites, blacks, latinos, over 45, under 45, and those who identify as Democrat. 

Last year’s Houston mayoral election focused heavily on Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s unfavorable ratings when pitted against then State Sen. John Whitmire, but Ogg’s unfavorables are even higher than that. 

48 percent of those polled at the time were unfavorable toward Jackson Lee while 61 percent of Democrats polled have an unfavorable view of Ogg today. Similarly, 44 percent said they’d never vote for Jackson Lee, while 42 percent say they’ll never vote for Ogg. Jackson Lee went on to lose the mayoral race, only receiving 35 percent of the vote to Whitmire’s 65 percent. 

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee also had a commanding lead against his opponent, Umeka Lewis, with 41 percent to her 7 percent, and 52 percent remaining undecided. Incumbent Sheriff Ed Gonzalez held 63 percent of the vote when compared to his three little-known opponents. 

The Democrat primary for the U.S. Senate was also polled, showing a 66 percent lead for U.S. Rep. Colin Allred to State Sen. Roland Gutierrez’s 7 percent. 

UH polled 1,400 voters between February 7-15 in both English and Spanish and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent. A second report will be released focusing on the primaries for Congressional District 7 and 18; Texas Senate District 15; and Texas House Districts 139, 142, and 146. A third and final report will be released covering evaluations of local Democrat political figures by primary voters. 

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.