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Alma Aguado

Still more polling

Via the Trib, there’s another gubernatorial primary poll out there.

The Texas Credit Union League Poll of Texas Primary Voters, released today, shows incumbent Rick Perry close to a majority, holding a 22 point lead over Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary race for Governor. According to the poll of likely primary voters, Rick Perry leads with 49%, Hutchison holds 27% and Debra Medina rose to 19%.

In the Democratic primary race for Governor, Bill White reached 51%, with Farouk Shami holding a distant 19%. Held a little more than a week before the start of early voting, pollsters questioned likely primary voters about top national and state issues, favorability rankings of state elected officials, and more, all broken out in terms of demographics including area of the state, income, ethnicity, and party affiliation.

Full crosstabs are available for the Democrats and the Republicans. Warning: they are each 181-page, mostly Courier-font, PDF files. Of greatest interest to me, from the Democratic side:

– As noted, White leads Shami 51-19. This is consistent with the PPP poll that had White up 49-19. I’m not fully clear how they screened for likely voters, however. They did ask if the respondent was likely to vote, with 80% saying they were very likely and 20% saying somewhat likely, but what I don’t know is if they pre-screened for a history of primary voting. As with all relatively low-turnout affairs, if you’re not in the habit of voting in them, you’re not really a likely voter in my book. Maybe they did this, maybe they didn’t, I couldn’t tell. Seems like they might have, since the TCUL folks used a pollster affiliated with the party in question for each poll, but I can’t say for certain.

– As with the other poll, the lesser-known candidates were basically non-factors. Felix Alvarado got 7%, Alma Aguado got 4%, and “other” got 3%. If those numbers hold up, I believe Bill White has an excellent shot at avoiding a runoff.

– The poll asked about favorability for White, Shami, and Alvarado. White was rated favorably by 51% of respondents, with only 5% having a negative view. An astonishing 93% of Houston-area respondents gave him positive marks. Shami’s numbers were 32/12, and nobody knew who the hell Felix Alvarado was.

– Despite having all kinds of data subsets, I couldn’t tell how the vote preference broke down along regional or ethnic lines. It may be in there, but I gave up trying to find it.

– Interestingly, basically the same number of people (90) claimed to have seen a White ad as a Shami ad (93). For all the money Shami has spent on ads, that’s gotta sting.

– This poll also asked about the Lite Guv race. Linda Chavez-Thompson was in the lead there, with 25%, followed by Ronnie Earle at 18%, and Marc Katz at 8%. Needless to say, that leaves a lot of room for “Undecided”.

– I did not delve into the GOP crosstabs, because life is too short. The one point of interest was there on the summary page, where it said Perry would defeat KBH in a runoff by a 58-34 margin. Poor Kay.

Finally, Burka reports that we’ll have a UT/Texas Trib poll soon, which means there will be three results to compare and contrast, plus Rasmussen’s GOP numbers. It’s so nice to have this much data, isn’t it?

White holds big lead in Dem primary poll

The headline and content of this Trib story is about another strong showing by GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina in a poll, this one by Public Policy Polling, but that’s not what interests me. I’ll get to that in a minute, but this is what caught my eye from the memo:

There is less drama on the Democratic side- Bill White leads Farouk Shami 49-19.

PPP surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters and 423 likely Republican primary voters from February 4th to 7th. The margin of error for the Democratic survey is +/-4.9% and for the Republicans it’s +/-4.8%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

Far as I know, this is the first publicly released poll that includes Farouk Shami, and as you can see, it suggests he is not competitive with White. All of the poll data is included – text of questions, demographics, and so forth – and nothing in particular stands out as odd to me. The sample is 32% Hispanic, 19% African-American, 46% white, 3% other, which strikes me as reasonable. Shami does best among Hispanics, losing by a 23-39 margin. If there’s one more piece of data I wish this poll had, it would be a geographic breakdown. Does Shami do better in, say, South Texas than elsewhere? We don’t know.

The other data point of interest is that the no-name candidates, especially the ones with Hispanic surnames, barely register. Felix Alvarado got 5%, Alma Aguado 2%, Clement Glenn 1%, and that’s it. Alvarado and Aguado have the potential to force a runoff if they pick up enough stray votes from folks who have no familiarity with the topline candidates, but there’s no indication in this data of that – Alvarado and Aguado combined for 13% of the Hispanic vote, which isn’t enough to cause trouble. If this poll is accurate – and all the standard disclaimers apply – then Dr. Murray’s prediction of White winning comfortably in March looks good. Again, it’s just one data point, so apply salt as needed.

As for the Republican side, Medina’s 24%, which is well within striking distance of KBH’s 28%, certainly looks impressive and would make my repeated predictions of her not beating Ron Paul’s showing in 2008 look foolish. I’ll just note that 51% of respondents were not sure what impression they had of her, which suggests to me that her support is still pretty soft and may fade over time. Or I’m just deluding myself and she’s the story of the year in Texas. Who the hell knows with Republican primary voters? More from Burka, who seems to be mesmerized by Medina for reasons I can’t quite fathom.

UPDATE: BOR has more.