February 15, 2006
February numbers from Rasmussen

BOR and PerryVsWorld have the latest Rasmussen poll numbers for the Texas gubernatorial race.

500 Likely voters; MoE 4.5%, pollster Scott Rasmussen; conducted February 6th.
Rick Perry 40%
Carole Strayhorn 31%
Chris Bell 13%
Kinky Friedman 9%

Rick Perry 38%
Carole Strayhorn 29%
Bob Gammage 18%
Kinky Friedman 8%

Perry 53%/45% Favorable/Unfavorable
Strayhorn 55%/31% Favorable/Unfavorable
Bell 33%/36% Favorable/Unfavorable
Gammage 27%/43% Favorable/Unfavorable
Friedman 28%/40% Favorable/Unfavorable

PvsW in particular has some good thoughts on this. Rasmussen also did the Senate race again, but it's in their subscriber content. I saw a little blurb on it in the Quorum Report that suggested little movement there, which forces me to once again bring up the possibility that they're oversampling Republicans. Pollsters make assumptions about the ratio of R/D/I in the population and weight the responses they get accordingly. Without seeing their crosstabs, I can't assess those assumptions. I can only complain if the data they publish seem askew from my own assumptions.

Even without that concern, it's a little hard for me to believe that somewhere between one half and two thirds of the state's Democrats (if you use the Royal Masset 50R-35D-15I formula) would vote for a non-Democrat in November. I don't doubt that both Strayhorn and Friedman are taking support from Dems as they are from GOPers. I just don't think it's that much.

I could be wrong, of course. The thing about this race is that we have nothing to compare it to, so everything is guesswork and wishful thinking. We may all wind up looking like idiots in November.

I think PvsW is right in that the Dem nominee is going to have to go after Strayhorn to have a chance at winning. I can't see Perry slipping much lower than 40%, though I suppose another special session meltdown or two might hurt him. Strayhorn and Bell/Gammage together can beat Perry, but I don't think all of Strayhorn's support is transferable to the Dem, and vice versa. That said, even I will have to consider my options if a string of polls in October show Strayhorn neck and neck with Perry, while the Dem lags behind. I don't like the thought of that, and at this point I don't believe it will come to that, but I don't doubt for a minute that this is what's driving some of the Rasmussen dynamics right now.

Will prolonged exposure to Strayhorn make her more or less appealing to Democrats? Will she, as PvsW suspects, tack left to increase that appeal to them, and will that cost her support with other voters? Hell if I know. I still want to see more polling, and I want to know what assumptions the pollsters are making about the partisan mix. It's all still noise until then.

Last thought: 40% unfavorable for Friedman? That's way high. I seriously doubt that he and Bell and Gammage have enough name ID to have the levels of fav and unfav that this poll says they do.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 15, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Zogby needs to be hired to survey partisan support in Texas.

Let's get some good numbers.

Posted by: Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible on February 15, 2006 2:16 PM

I think it may make sense to ignore Rasmussen numbers. They've posted some very out of whack numbers in e.g. the Rendell-Swann head to heads, as well as some others. And their Bush job approval daily tracking has gotten more out of whack over the past two months.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot on February 15, 2006 3:28 PM

why are gammage's unfavorables so high? at this point i thought the only people with grudges against him were pro-choice. certainly, 43% of texas isn't pro-choice to the point where they'd oppose a democrat for not being liberal enough.

Posted by: lonestar liberal on February 15, 2006 4:05 PM

Just a plug for Bob Gammage's appearance at the Oil Patch Democrats meeting on Friday. More info @ oilpatchdemocrats.com

Posted by: George on February 16, 2006 7:08 AM
I think PvsW is right in that the Dem nominee is going to have to go after Strayhorn to have a chance at winning.

This would be a travesty, if the Dem candidate runs such a race. Perry needs to be the target.

I'm undecided in the Dem primary, but would be far more inclined to vote for the candidate more likely to keep his focus on the true opponent in this race.

Posted by: P.M.Bryant on February 16, 2006 9:36 AM

At this point it's mostly name recognition. Judging from the favorable/unfavorable numbers, Perry and Strayhorn have it (Carol what's-her-name jokes aside); while Bell, Gammage, and (surprisingly) Friedman don't. (Friedman's lackluster support could also be due to folks not considering him a serious candidate.)

As for whether the eventual Democratic candidate will have to "go after" Strayhorn or not: I think it depends on how the race unfolds. At this point, with Perry the clear leader, all candidates should be concentrating their fire (insert Dick Cheney joke here) on him. If Strayhorn pulls closer to Perry, perhaps the Democrat should switch tactics then.

The big surprise is that Gammage polled so much better than Bell, even with higher unfavorables. It's conceivable the folks who hate Gammage but not Bell are pro-choicers willing to hold their noses and vote for Gammage anyway; but there must be a lot of folks who hate Bell enough not to vote for him, but who'd still vote for Gammage in the general, and I can't imagine who those folks would be. Are you sure you didn't switch Bell's and Gammage's numbers somewhere?

Posted by: Mathwiz on February 16, 2006 4:50 PM