September 04, 2004
Perry's poor popularity

The Guv's numbers are better than before, but they're still net negative.

Some 47 percent in the Scripps Howard survey rated the governor's job performance as fair or poor, a five-point drop from last spring's poll during a failed special legislative session on school finance, when more than half disapproved.

The results, showing Perry's approval rating at 43 percent, are contained in the latest Scripps Howard survey of 1,000 adult Texans Aug. 9-26. Last spring, Perry was popular with only 37 percent of Texans.

The latest poll includes 38 percent Republicans, 26 percent Democrats and 25 percent independents.

Perry spokeswoman Kathy Walt said the governor continues to base policies on principles rather than polls, but a political scientist said the latest results look bad for Perry.

The relatively high percentage of Republicans polled underscore how troubling Perry's ratings are, said Bob Stein, Rice University political scientist.

"This is not an incumbent governor who should feel good about being re-elected," said Stein. "This is going to only add additional evidence that Kay Bailey Hutchison and the comptroller will think seriously about running against the governor."

Hutchison's popularity soars ahead of all other state leaders, the poll shows, with 62 percent saying she's doing excellent or good versus 24 percent who rate her fair to poor.


Strayhorn rates positively with 45 percent of Texans polled, versus only 39 percent during the ill-fated legislative session last spring.

She rates negatively with only 23 percent of those polled. Another 32 percent said they didn't know either way.

Strayhorn, formerly known as Carole Keeton Rylander, said she thinks her numbers would markedly improve if voters were asked what they think of "one tough grandma," a campaign slogan that stuck.

"I'm extremely pleased. I've never been on the ballot as Strayhorn before," she said. "The voters are giving me a 2-to-1 approval rating. This year I have been aggressively in the trenches, speaking up, speaking out about critical issues in this state. People like that."

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst also has fairly low name recognition, the poll indicates, with 36 percent polled saying they didn't know enough to rate him. He rated favorably with 35 percent of those polled and unfavorably with 29 percent.

This is why I want Perry to be the eventual winner of a bloody and mudslinging primary, optimally a multi-candidate one with a runoff. He's beatable by the right Democratic opponent. He does have the 2005 Legislative session to turn things around, but he'll have some big obstacles - CHIP and school finance, in particular - to overcome. The 79th Lege may make the 78th look like it was a trifle.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 04, 2004 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Kuff, I don't know if you watched any of the RNC. I was watching on PBS when Cheney was speaking, and made his joke about having gotten his job based on his good looks and good hair. And I'm pretty sure that the camera cut at that moment to Gov. Perry.

Maybe it wasn't him. But I thought of you. :-)

Posted by: Beldar on September 4, 2004 8:32 PM