December 06, 2005
Texas poll: Governor's race

And as long as we're talking polls, the Chris Bell blog has the latest Texas Poll numbers for the Governor's race:

General Election Match-up
46 - Rick Perry (R, inc.)
25 - Chris Bell (D)
13 - Kinky Friedman (I)

Republican Primary
55 - Rick Perry
24 - Carole Strayhorn
11 - undecided

My first reaction upon seeing this is "Tell me again why anyone thought the real action would be in the GOP primary". I mean, sure, Perry versus KBH would have been epic. But Strayhorn? Believe me, I wanted her to do better than this. I wanted her to present a clear alternative, so that eight months later people would perhaps realize that it didn't have to be like this. I wanted her to soften Perry up a bit. Lord knows she can talk a blue streak. But from the get-go she was at best a longshot. Perry's done nothing but give tender loving care to Republican primary voters, while Strayhorn often sounds like a Democrat wannabee. She may have made a formidable general election opponent for him, but as PerryVsWorld said at the get-go, hers was (to say the least) an unconventional strategy for a Republican primary. Why was this so hard a concept for certain members of the press to grasp?

On the other hand, you've got an incumbent Governor pulling less than a majority against a so far not terribly well-known opponent. Perry does better here than he has in the Zogby Interactive polls, which have had him down around 40%, but this is still a mediocre showing. His popularity ticked up a bit last month, but he's still under 50% there with at least as much disapproval. Why shouldn't the general election be the more interesting of the two contests?

Finally, I note that Perry is up in this poll over the Zobgys by about as much as Kinky Friedman is down. That may well mean nothing, but it's interesting to me anyway. Until we get a head-to-head survey, we can only speculate (as Karl-T does) about who Friedman draws his support from.

Side note: Apparently, QR has the GOP primary numbers as 55/24, not 65/24. Either way, one race features an incumbent who's safely above 50%, the other does not. You tell me which has more possibilities.

UPDATE: Here's the Chron story. It also has Perry/Strayhorn at 55/24, so I've corrected it in my blockquote. Perry is more popular in the Texas poll than he is in SurveyUSA:

The governor, whose job approval rating had sunk to 39 percent in September, following his and the Legislature's repeated failures to cut school property taxes and overhaul education spending, was buoyed by a 10-point favorable jump in how Texans now view his performance.

Forty-nine percent of Texans now approve of the governor's work, according to the poll, while 37 percent disapprove and 14 percent don't know.

The boost mainly stems from the positive publicity that the governor received from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, said University of Texas at Austin government professor Bruce Buchanan.

Perry deployed National Guard troops to devastated areas, and state government helped find shelter for evacuees from Louisiana and the Texas coast.

"The governor got right on TV and jumped on that," he pointed out.

Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson agreed the hurricane publicity helped Perry, but he said short memories about the summer's failed education sessions also were likely a factor.

SurveyUSA has him at 47/47 this month, up from 43/52. I think Jillson is right, which means that Perry's numbers will most likely take another plunge this spring.

By the way, this survey also provides some corroboration for the Gallup poll on Tom DeLay:

Almost half of the respondents (49 percent) had an unfavorable opinion of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, the former House Majority Leader who has been indicted on criminal charges relating to financing of state legislative races.

Poor Tom.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 06, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

This state is really, really dead in terms of actual political dialogue. I think we've been redistricted and/or bludgeoned with incompetence into unconsciousness.

Posted by: norbizness on December 6, 2005 9:33 AM