Though I expect he'll get a bounce from his activities relating to Katrina evacuees, Governor Perry's poll numbers stink.
If the 2006 primary were held today, 46 percent of Republican voters would support Mr. Perry, compared with 28 percent for Mrs. Strayhorn. Nearly one-quarter are undecided. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Perry camp said poll results will fluctuate, but the governor is focused on doing his job. Mr. Perry has a 55 percent positive job-approval rating among Republicans and a 30 percent negative rating.
Among all voters, though, Mr. Perry's job approval has fallen to 39 percent, down 12 points from six months ago. The governor has been unsuccessful in getting the Legislature to lower property taxes and change the state's system of funding education.
Meanwhile, 54 percent of Democratic primary voters are undecided on whom to support in the March contest. Sixteen percent support former Comptroller John Sharp, who has not said whether he's running, and 10 percent favor former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell. Eight percent would vote for Felix Alvarado, an assistant principal in Fort Worth, and 12 percent support various other candidates.
How Texans rate some other politicians' job performance in a new Texas poll:
52% approve of President Bush's work, his lowest mark in Texas since he became president (43 percent disapprove).
25% approve of state House Speaker Tom Craddick's performance (29 percent disapproved, 46 percent didn't have an opinion).
23% approve of the Legislature's work (65 percent disapprove).
64% approve of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's performance, as she continues her reign as the state's most popular elected official (19 percent disapprove).
42% approve of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's job performance (21 percent disapprove).