Or something like that. He's officially on the state ballot, anyway.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by other GOP officeholders, filed the necessary paperwork at Texas Republican headquarters. He predicted a close presidential race next year but said Bush, his predecessor as governor, will run strong in Texas.
"Texas is Bush country, and you can bet it's going to stay that way in 2004," Perry said.
About one-fifth (19 percent) of Democratic primary voters responding to the Texas Poll said they were undecided on a presidential nominee. Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt were in a statistical tie for the lead among decided Texas Democrats, but no one had more than 16 percent.
The poll was conducted Nov. 14 through Dec. 6, before former Vice President Al Gore's endorsement of Dean, the former Vermont governor. But [University of Texas at Austin government professor Bruce] Buchanan didn't expect Gore's endorsement to have much effect in Texas, which Gore -- then the Democratic nominee -- lost to Bush in the 2000 presidential race.
"I doubt it will move the numbers more than one or two points, if that," Buchanan said.