Do you approve or disapprove of the job Rick Perry is doing as governor?
14% Not Sure
It shouldn't be that big a surprise that Perry's numbers suck. He's never been that popular to begin with, and he's certainly never bothered to court his political opponents. Other than the occasional slapfight with potential primary challengers Kay Bailey Hutchison and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, he's been invisible during the legislative session. He's made school finance reform a major issue, going so far as to call a dismal flop of a special session on it last year, yet a large majority of Texans think school finance will remain a mess after the regular legislative session ends, with 60% thinking that the much-derided Robin Hood system ain't so bad after all. His one signature achievement, the Trans-Texas Corridor, was passed by the House in 2003 without anyone knowing what they were doing. It's now officially opposed by the Texas GOP, and Perry is drawing fire on it from Hutchison, Strayhorn, and Chris Bell. (If it's any consolation for Perry, Kinky Friedman hasn't expressed an opinion on the subject yet that I can find.) In short, it's a crapstorm and he's outside with no umbrella.
Andrew thinks that Perry's numbers among Republicans are pretty good, good enough to ensure that he'll withstand the coming primary challenge. I've already said that I think those numbers are weak, but I can't necessarily disagree about the primary. We don't know how he's doing among likely primary voters, but past evidence has always suggested that that is the one true bastion of strength that he has. What I think we all agree on is that this is why we want to see Perry survive a bloody and acrimonious Republican primary. He's vulnerable, more so than KBH or CKS would be. Keep up the good work, Rick.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 11, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack