ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque citizens will head to the polls Tuesday to pick who they want to be their next mayor. Voters will choose between State Auditor Tim Keller or City Councilor Dan Lewis in the city’s first runoff election since 1993.
KRQE’S Political analyst Gabe Sanchez says that while polls show Tim Keller ahead of Dan Lewis by 18 percent, an upset is possible. He also says it’s going to take a “Hail Mary” from Lewis to do so.
“There’s a lot more Republicans out there that seem to be undecided on who to vote for. He needs to capitalize on that. Really see his base turn out in extremely high numbers,” Sanchez said.
The latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal show 13 percent of likely voters are still undecided. Those are the people Sanchez says Lewis needs to vote in his favor in order to defeat Keller and become mayor.
Sanchez also says Lewis may need to rely on the District 5 council race and hope that Republicans who turn out to vote for Robert Aragon also vote for Lewis.
“He’s got to hope that his name recognition in his old seat, those folks will turn out in high numbers and obviously move to him. That’s really the only possible lane for him,” Sanchez said.
When it comes to the debates and campaign ads that we’ve seen really heating up, Sanchez says Lewis had to really double down on his aggressive stance in order to get his message out.
“We saw over the weekend it was pretty aggressive and combative and I think if anything, a lot of voters out there may think, okay this has sparked my interest in turning out to vote,” Sanchez said.
Even though Keller has surpassed what Sanchez calls the magic number of 50 percent in the early voting polls, he says anything can happen.
In fact, Republican insiders are telling Sanchez that the race is looking much closer than it appears.
The winner will take office Dec. 1.
Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at more than 50 polling sites.