Vote 2020 Newsletter: Local races to watch; Poll results released

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This time last week, we were still trying to figure out what happened in Iowa. Today, we’re hoping for smoother sailing as voters in New Hampshire head to the polls.

Just yesterday, Quinnipiac University released the results of a national poll that was conducted in the wake of the Iowa caucuses. There were some interesting findings. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is in the lead for the first time, with 25% of support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters. Despite his late entry, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is polling third, with 15% of support. And with the vote still so fragmented, there are still five candidates polling at 10% or more.

But, even though this primary season -- and 2020 in general -- feels like it has been going on for about 11 years, there is still a long way to go. And there’s still time for things to change.

This week we’re also getting a look at the first round of results from the new Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll.



What’s next in the Michelle Barrientes Vela saga? The ex-constable/current sheriff candidate is scheduled for court just 8 days after early voting starts.

Meet the man at the heart of the Bexar Facts/KSAT/Rivard Report poll.

Here’s how Texas Democrats dole out their 261 delegates in the presidential primary.

STORY OF THE WEEK: Races to watch during the primary

Here are the races to watch in 2020. (KSAT)

With sexy headlines about chaotic caucuses and constant stories about how electable a candidate is or isn’t, it can be easy to overlook the local and statewide races. But they are important and there are plenty of local races to watch this primary season.

KSAT has put together a list of some of the most interesting and competitive races to watch. There are several. Here are a few:

Unless a candidate secures more than 50% of the vote in the primary, the top two contenders in that race will head to a runoff election on May 26.

Sick of hearing what WE are watching? So are we! That’s what makes our next story of the week so exciting.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT: Here’s what voters like, don’t like about San Antonio, its leaders and its policies

Last week we announced the first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan, quarterly Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll. Today we’re announcing our first round of results.

651 likely voters were interviewed last week by phone and internet on a range of local issues. We learned a lot. Here are some of the highlights:

A plurality of voters sees the county and city as “going in the right direction.”

Bexar Facts right direction (KSAT)

The majority of local likely voters have favorable opinions on the top two leaders in local government.

Bexar Facts on how voters view on Nelson Wolff and Ron Nirenberg. (KSAT)

Local voters are most concerned about crime, homelessness, traffic, cost of living and roads.

Bexar Facts local concerns (KSAT)

Voters are willing to pay a sales tax to fund Edwards Aquifer protection, Pre-K 4 SA and VIA.

Bexar Facts sales tax revenue (KSAT)

You can view the entire Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report Poll by clicking here.

Steve Spriester is hosting a livestream to go over the results this afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. You can watch it on and


Each week, KSAT anchors Myra Arthur & Steve Spriester will sound off on the election news/other random thoughts that are on their minds.

Bexar. County. Sheriff.

Sure, there’s the mega prize of the U.S. presidency in these 2020 elections. But I love keeping an eye on a particularly interesting local race. There’s something special about it because it’s just for us. And, boy, are there plenty of intriguing things about this contest.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has seen its own personnel accused of breaking the law time and time again. Then there’s been the repeated issue at the county jail of inmates being released by mistake. We report on these problems repeatedly, but I always wonder how much of an impact that makes to the “average” San Antonian. How much do they (well, you) care about it? And is it enough for voters to want a change in leadership?

Sheriff Javier Salazar has multiple challengers in this race who think so, one of whom has been indicted on several criminal charges related to allegations made during her time as an elected official serving as the Bexar County Precinct Two Constable. Before her arrest, Michelle Barrientes Vela dropped plenty of jaws when she announced she was running for sheriff in the midst of being under investigation.

This race is a can’t-miss for me.

They are stops you expect during a presidential campaign: Iowa and New Hampshire. But is it time to change the primary parade through these states? It pains me to say, as someone who grew up in Iowa, but change may be the best thing to do.

Don’t get me wrong, there is something pure and grassroots about having to spend time shaking hands and getting to know people in Iowa. You will not win Iowa unless you get out and campaign amidst the cornfields and farmers, city folk and silos of The Hawkeye State.

The problem is the process, as much as the demographic make-up of Iowa. The caucus system of viability and first and second choices seems ripe for confusion and chaos, and they won the day as much as Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

My idea: change the Iowa caucus to a primary, and maybe hold the Iowa and New Hampshire contests together, more of a break between Nevada and South Carolina, and more consensus instead of confusion. It would be “business unusual," but the status quo let us down. At least in Iowa.


Where Texas candidates for U.S. Senate stand on health care issues | Houston Chronicle

Who needs to win the New Hampshire primary | Vox

Bernie Sanders takes lead for the first time in national Quinnipiac poll | USA Today


The next big contest of the 2020 presidential race is today. Voters in New Hampshire are now casting ballots in the primary elections.

Here at home, early voting kicks off next week, Feb. 18.

Do you like debates? Good news for you: there’s another one coming up. The next Democratic debate is on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas.

ICYMI on the News at 9

Harlandale ISD superintendent discusses new role as TEA investigation continues

Harlandale ISD has been under state investigation since 2017. Now, new superintendent Gerard Soto says he wants to move forward. The Texas Education Agency opened its Special Accreditation Investigation over questions about how the district handled certain contracts, allegations of nepotism and alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act. That investigation is still open and we don’t have a timeline for when it might wrap up. In the meantime, Soto sat down with KSAT to discuss how he plans to lead the district and the changes he wants to make.

Harlandale ISD superintendent discusses new role as TEA investigation continues


What you need to know about voting in the Texas Primary Elections on March 3

2020 Democratic March Primary ballot for Bexar County

2020 Republican March Primary ballot for Bexar County

Watch: News at 9′s 2020 primary election preview

About the Authors:

Lexi Salazar produces KSAT Explains, a weekly, in-depth streaming show that digs into the most important issues facing San Antonio. She previously produced the News at 9, San Antonio's first streaming-only news program.

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.