May 11, 2005
Perry's pathetic poll numbers

I don't know why this hasn't gotten any news coverage yet, but the latest approval numbers for Rick Perry (via Andrew D and Political Wire) are just unbelievably awful.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Rick Perry is doing as governor?

38% Approve
48% Disapprove
14% Not Sure

Thirty-eight percent approval is bad enough, but you have to look at the crosstabs to get the full horror. Across gender, race, and age groups, Perry's in negative terrotory - only white voters, who split on him 44-44, don't give him a big thumbs-down. His Republican support, 57-33, is extremely tepid, but given the strong disapproval among Dems (23-63) and indies (30-53), if he got 100% approval from his partymates he'd only be at 56% overall.

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.

(Side note, since I couldn't work it in anywhere else: Perry's approval totals make him the thirty-eighth most popular Governor in America. Hat tip to Greg for that tidbit.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 11, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Perry is a deadman walking.

If KBH enters the race, and I think she will, then I going to jump in the Rethug primary and vote for Slick Rick.

Both Sharp and Bell have a shot at Perry, but neither stands a chance against KBH.

Posted by: blank on May 11, 2005 2:22 PM

Ok, so the walking haircut isn't so popular, but why is Bob Taft so unpopular?

He's a GOoPster, so I don't mind it, but what did he do get a 74% disapproval rating? Even 63% of the righties don't like him. What's the deal? Usually you have to have a "live boy, dead girl" situation, and I'm sure I would have heard about that. Any help would be welcome.

Posted by: R Mitchell on May 11, 2005 3:42 PM