Early voting for the upcoming elections is a little over two months away and we don't have a sense of how the public is going to sway this time around. Of course, the race that is going to be the big draw locally is the mayoral race. The candidates are familiar political players that have had relative success so far, but there can be only one victor. It's anybody's race at this point; Declaring it an upset depends on who you ask.
The incumbent, Raul Salinas, seems likable enough to vote for but several missteps could prove to sidetrack him. Surely the challengers will capitalize on any errors the mayor might've committed. Likewise, Salinas could do the same and counter with his own criticisms, or he could pass himself off as the neutral and positive choice, focusing on the future and leaving the negative attacks for the other two.
Joe A. Valdez Jr. and Gene Belmares don't seem like the flamboyant types who would attend a debate and fly off the cuff like we've seen with other races. There's always someone who is on the brink of losing it on camera but this might prove to be a civil competition.
In looking at the results of the Democratic Primary Runoff (April 13, 2010), a total of 25 precincts consistently picked the winners in the race for District Judge, 111th Judicial Court, County Judge, and District Clerk - Monica Notzon, Danny Valdez, and Esther Degollado, respectively. The voting patterns of a few of these precincts could give us an idea of where the public stands on the candidates. But that would take time, and possibly money, to poll individuals before or during the elections.
The November election will include the race for Texas governor, and other local seats, so the pool will definitely be larger. The method by which we choose a precinct to poll might be altered. Nevertheless it's something to look into it.
By the way, the precinct where I vote picked all three winning candidates in April as well. Votes cast at this location is a small number. I could use it as a test site, but the logistics of the practice is something I have to figure out.