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Bad news, good news

Governor Goodhair picked up an endorsement from a group of black ministers, which may help him peel off some of the black vote from Tony Sanchez.

“I don’t see why you need to change a horse in the middle of the stream,” said alliance member the Rev. F.N. Williams of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.

That doesn’t sound like high praise to me, but the bottom line is what matters.

The good news comes from some poll numbers:

As Perry received the endorsement, the UH Center for Public Policy released its new Texas Public Policy Survey showing that Perry leads Sanchez by 42 percent to 32 percent.

Pollster Richard Murray, a UH political science professor, said the poll indicates a sizable gain for Sanchez, an oilman and banker from Laredo.

A separate Scripps-Howard Texas Poll released in early June showed that Perry had a 20-point lead.

Murray said Perry appears to be slipping amid attack ads by Sanchez and a recent string of bad news for Texas, including a projected $5 billion state budget shortfall.

“Sanchez isn’t so much gaining support as softening up Perry,” Murray said. “Perry is an incumbent governor, but he succeeded to the office and is not yet well known to many Texas voters.”


The Texas Public Policy Survey — a telephone poll of 739 registered Texas voters conducted June 20-29 — had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll also showed that:

  • Democrat Ron Kirk holds a lead of 36 percent to 28 percent over Republican John Cornyn for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm. The earlier Texas poll showed Cornyn leading 35 percent to 30 percent. Cornyn is Texas attorney general, and Kirk is a former mayor of Dallas.
  • The race for lieutenant governor is tight, with Republican David Dewhurst, the state land commissioner, at 31 percent to 29 percent for Democrat John Sharp, a former state comptroller who narrowly lost the 1998 lieutenant governor’s race to Perry. Dewhurst led the Texas Poll 36 percent to 29 percent.

Wow. Kirk is doing better than I’d have thought. I’m actually surprised that John Sharp is not leading his race, but a statistical tie isn’t bad. And Rick Perry doesn’t seem to have much of an incumbent’s advantage. So all in all, not too bad.

Elsewhere in this piece, Sanchez bashes Perry for not returning all of the campaign contributions he got from WorldCom, and Perry bashes Sanchez for having made money off of Enron in the past. A Perry spokesman claims that Sanchez should return the money he got from selling Enron stock in 2000 as well as any profits Sanchez’s oil and gas company made from doing business with Enron.

Um, I think there’s a small bit of difference between owning stock in a company and getting a campaign contribution from a company. Plus, in 2000 when Sanchez sold his Enron stock, Enron was still on top of the world. Is Perry saying that Sanchez had really advanced knowledge of Enron’s collapse, or is he saying that any money earned from Enron is tainted? If it’s the latter, there are lots of people who will need to cleanse themselves. This all strikes me as silly.

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