May 12, 2005
Another poll on Perry

On the heels of Survey USA comes the quarterly Texas Poll, which contains better but still not good news for Rick Perry.


Gov. Rick Perry's job approval rating, after rebounding earlier this year, slipped to 45 percent in a new poll released Wednesday.

Perry's job approval hit 51 percent earlier this year, his highest showing in three years of polling.

[...]

The governor also had one of the highest negative ratings 35 percent of state officials in the poll.


So, Perry's split in this poll is 45-35, a sizeable improvement over SUSA's 38-48, but still no great shakes - among other things, 45% approval would rank Perry as the 32nd most popular Governor instead of the 38th.

Unlike the SUSA poll, we are not provided with the internals, so we have no idea how Perry did by various subgroups, or if perhaps one particular subgroup was over- or under-represented. The nearest thing we have is this:


Among Republicans polled, 78 percent approve of [Senator Kay Bailey] Hutchison's job performance compared with 63 percent for Perry.

That's pretty close to SUSA's finding of 57% approval for Perry among Republicans. If you substitute 63% for 57% in the SUSA totals, his overall approval creeps up to 40%, so based on that it seems clear he did better among Dems and independents in the Texas poll. We just don't know how much better, and we don't know what the proportions of the three groups are.

Other items from the poll:


Hutchison remained the most popular Texas politician with a 67 percent job approval rating that includes strong support across political lines.

[...]

More than half of Democrats, 55 percent, said Hutchison is doing a good job, as did 65 percent of independents.

Perry's other potential challenger, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, received a 51 percent approval rating.

Her disapproval rating was only 12 percent, but 37 percent didn't know enough to offer an opinion.

[...]

Only 37 percent of those polled said they approve of the job the Legislature is doing, compared with 40 percent who disapprove.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst received a job approval rating of 42 percent, up from 35 percent a year ago.

President Bush remains popular with 58 percent of those polled, while Sen. John Cornyn remained steady from a year ago at 42 percent.


Dewhurst usually scores pretty high in the "don't know" category, so his 42% approval is likely accompanied by a much lower disapproval number than Perry has - I'd guess his score would break down something like 42-20, with 38% "don't know"s. I'm slightly less certain that the same is true for Sen. Cornyn. Note that while Dewhurst is up from last year and Cornyn is the same, both are down from January.

One last thing, regarding Perry's chances to improve on his performance:


His poll numbers will likely be tied to how effectively the Legislature performs, Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told the Scripps Howard Austin Bureau for a story published in Thursday's editions.

"Whenever the Legislature is in session, almost anyone associated with state government sees a decline in popularity," Jillson said.

The regular session of the Legislature has less than three weeks left before adjournment. If the Legislature fails in its push to reform the state's public school finance system, Perry's poll numbers could get worse.

Of those polled, 37 percent said they approve of the job the Legislature is doing, compared with 40 percent who disapprove.

"In all likelihood he'll receive the blame or the credit for the legislation session," Jerry Polinard, a political science professor at the University of Texas-Pan American, told the Scripps Howard Austin Bureau. "If the session is deemed to be a success, Perry's numbers can go up."


There's been plenty to hate in this session, and though the House and Senate are closer to a budget and school finance deal, there's still plenty of opportunity for things to crash and burn. Given the tax increases elsewhere to finance a property tax reduction, for the chambers to come to an agreement is not a guarantee that the session will be considered a success anyway. I wouldn't expect too much help from the Lege if I were the Governor.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 12, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack
Comments

"Whenever the Legislature is in session, almost anyone associated with state government sees a decline in popularity," Jillson said.

Priceless

Posted by: Jeb on May 12, 2005 9:45 AM

I was thinking the same thing. Perry's approval always seems to goes down after the Lege has been in session.

Posted by: Jim D on May 12, 2005 10:31 AM

T.S. Eliot once wrote: "These were decent people, their only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls." ("The Rock" )

Rick Perry's legacy will show that he came and went, in T.S. Eliot's phrase, 'his only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls.'"

Posted by: Zangwell Arrow on May 12, 2005 3:27 PM