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Huerfano’s internet savvy weigh in on election

by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
WALSENBURG- Welcome to the future! Look to your left. Look to your right. And then look at yourself. How many internet users do you see? The more internet savvy people you see in your immediate Huerfano vicinity; the more likely these poll results will seem valid to you.
Don’t laugh! The Colorado Farm Bureau says, “A total of 62 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 59 percent in 2009.” Still, it must be confessed that the data for this Huerfano Pre-Election Poll were collected electronically. Persons who do not use the Internet probably did not participate. Thus, the results of this poll could be misleading.
Between September 24 and October 10, 2011, people were polled via direct email, Facebook, newspaper and flyers. This effort yielded 173 responses including 167 registered voters: 88 (54%) from Walsenburg; 36 (22%) from La Veta; 35 (21%), county; Cuchara 2 (1%) and 2 (1%) from Gardner). Almost 5% of Huerfano County’s 3,266 active registered voters participated, yielding about a 7.4 margin of error for Huerfano results and about a 9.9 margin of error for Walsenburg results.
According to this poll, regarding the Walsenburg mayoral contest, Walsenburg respondents chose candidate Larry Patrick over incumbent Bruce Quintana for Mayor of Walsenburg. Among respondents, Patrick carried 78% of females, 88% of males, 71% of Hispanic /latina/os, 89% of white (non-Hispanics), 100% of other minorities, 71% of Democrats, 92% of Republicans, and 94% of unaffiliated respondents.
Regarding “first choice” for Walsenburg City Council’s Ward 2 seat, Walsenburg respondents chose Paul Rivera over Rick Jennings and Gary Sporcich. Regarding “second choice,” respondents chose Rick Jennings over the other two.
Regarding Ward 3 of Walsenburg’s City Council, Walsenburg respondents favored the incumbent David Mockmore (39%); with Anna Marie Estrada following closely at (37%) and James Baca at (24%).
Meanwhile, about 76% of respondents favored adjusting the mill levy upward from 11.756 to 18.547, with 11% still “not sure.”
Among Huerfano Re-1 respondents, 71% favored David Tesitor for a seat on the school board over Denise Abila-Vigil’s 29%.
About 67% of Huerfano respondents indicated that county commissioners’ terms should remain at 2 terms; while 12% favored extending them to 3 terms. Meanwhile, 17% preferred shortening the number to 1 term, and 4% indicated the terms should be “unlimited”.
Colorado State “Proposition 103” to increase Income and Sales Taxes to help fund Public Education was supported by about 49% of respondents, with 16% “not sure.”
The sample was 61% female, contrasting the 2010 U.S./Huerfano Census of 44%. The sample includes 70% persons over 37 years of age with 94% over age 28. According to, “females tend to live longer than males” and “older people tend to vote more then the newly eligible;” therefore, both of these findings indicate that this sample may be representative of Huerfano County’s internet savvy voters.
The Huerfano County sample included about 20% Hispanic/Latina/os, 76% white (non-Hispanics), and 4% other; whereas the 2010 Census reported the County breakdown to be 35%, 62% and 3% respectively. The Walsenburg sample (n=88) was 30%, 65%, and 5% respectively; closer to the census demographics, but still slightly lower in minority representation.
The Huerfano sample was 46% Democrat, 31% Republican, and 23% unaffiliated or other, compared to the Secretary of State’s (September 2011) voter registration numbers of 53% Democrat, 27% Republican and 19% unaffiliated or other “active” voters.
This online poll / survey will be available at until election day. You can go there (electronically) and give your opinion. More data from this poll will be reported in future articles.
These poll results do not reflect official votes. You must vote in order to influence this election. In the words of the great Kingfish (Louisiana Governor, Huey Long 1893-1935), “If you don’t vote; you don’t matter!”