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Lyceum poll: Perry 48, White 43

From the inbox:

Statewide poll numbers released today show that Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Houston Mayor Bill White trails Republican Governor Rick Perry by five points. The fourth annual 2010 Texas Lyceum Poll, conducted September 22nd – September 30th, shows Rick Perry leading Bill White 48% – 43% among likely voters. The margin of error is +/-4.75 percentage points.

Among self-identified independent voters, White leads Perry 50% – 34%, with Libertarian Kathie Glass also earning 10% support. Moderate voters are also breaking to White, who leads Perry 67% – 22% amongst that group. Perry, however, commands a 76%-17% lead amongst conservatives and has locked down 81% of the Republican vote.

The survey sample, which consists of 416 likely voters, also indicates that most Texans have made up their minds in the race for Governor with only 3% undecided. Meanwhile, of the remaining candidates in the Governor’s race Libertarian candidate Glass has 5-points and Green Party candidate Deb Shafto has 1-point.

“Bill White is hanging tough against Rick Perry, but with just 12 days before Texans head to the polls for early voting and with just 3% of voters undecided in this race, White’s path to victory remains difficult to see,” said Daron Shaw, Ph.D. Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Shaw, with Amy Jasperson, Ph.D, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, conducted the 2010 Texas Lyceum poll.

In two other closely watched down-ballot races the numbers are less competitive. The Republican incumbent candidates in both the Lieutenant Governor’s race and the Attorney General’s race lead the Democratic opponents by double digits. Texas Lieutenant Governor Republican David Dewhurst leads Democrat Linda Chavez-Thompson 47% – 30%. In the race for Attorney General, Republican Greg Abbott leads Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky 56% — 29%. However, a significant number of voters remain undecided in these races, at 12% in the Lieutenant Governor race and 11% in the Attorney General’s race.

“Although Republicans enjoy significant leads in the races for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, a significant number of Texas voters have yet to turn their attention to these down ballot races,” noted Jasperson.


From September 22-30, 2010, The Texas Lyceum conducted a statewide telephone survey. The survey utilized a stratified probability sample design, with respondents being randomly selected at the level of the household. On average, respondents completed the interview in 17 minutes. Approximately 5,000 records were drawn to yield 725 completed interviews. The final data set is weighted by race/ethnicity, age and gender to achieve representativeness. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.75 percentage points.

The ballot numbers and analysis were produced with a screen for likely voters. Voters were deemed “likely” if they indicated that they were registered to vote, indicated that they were “somewhat” or “extremely” interested in politics, and indicated that they had voted in “almost every” or “every” election in the last 2-3 years. This screen produced 416 likely voters, 57% of the full sample and 73% of registered voters. The margin of error for the survey of likely voters is +/- 4.75 percentage points.

The full release is here, and the Lyceum’s executive summary is here. They also did a poll of voters’ attitudes about how to deal with the budget shortfall, which mostly shows that people are deeply confused and uninformed about the cause of the shortfall and the viable routes to fixing it. I don’t have any further data than this, so I can’t give a detailed critique of the poll. It’s consistent with most other results, and it suggests White has done a good job of convincing people who otherwise tend to vote Republican to support him. How well he does with base Democratic turnout may be the most important factor for him right now.

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One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    I guess I could believe 48-43. I’m not sure why the pessimism from some of the pollsters / etc as to White’s chances. Seems like it could be an awfully close race, which would be great for Dems. Even if White loses, if he loses by a little bit, that’s a sign that viable candidates can win statewide office in Texas – if not in 2010 then certainly in 2012 or shortly thereafter – and should help promote Dem enthusiasm for these races for the next 10+ years.