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More poll numbers

A Scripps Howard poll is showing a sizeable lead for Governor Goodhair over Tony Sanchez, a tie in the Lt. Governor race, and slight leads for the Republicans in the Senate and Attorney General race.

I’ll get to all that in a minute. First, compare and contrast the related story in the Brownsville Herald to the one in our own newspaper. John Williams is normally an astute writer. I can’t say if his piece was cut for space or if he simply did a cursory cut-n-paste job because he was late to buy a round at the bar, but you’d think the Chron might be a teensy bit embarrassed at being out-covered by a small town paper.

Anyway, the usual caveats apply. How did they determine “likely voters”? What turnout model did they use? You know the drill.

There is one thing in the Herald‘s coverage that sounds right:

If the election for governor were today, 50 percent of likely voters would choose Perry compared with 35 percent who favor Sanchez. Fourteen percent are undecided. In August, 42 percent preferred Perry while 28 percent picked Sanchez.

Texans are almost split in their views about Perry’s job performance. While 44 percent say he has done an excellent or good job as governor, 43 percent say his performance has been fair or poor.

“People are looking (at the governor’s race) as the lesser of two evils,” said Bruce Buchanan, political science professor at the University of Texas. “Voters are not enamored with Perry, but people don’t see Sanchez as the answer. I think that’s it in a nutshell.”


Meanwhile, 37 percent of likely voters say neither Perry nor Sanchez is talking about the issues important to them. Thirty-two percent say the candidates are talking about important issues and 22 percent say the candidates talk about the issues sometimes

Unfortunately, I think that’s a problem. I’ve criticized Sanchez before for lack of specifics – his “scrub the budget” answer for the deficits is baloney, for example. (Not that Goodhair has been forthcoming about the deficit; his response has been to say “well, maybe it won’t be that bad”.) He had a chance to be bold and to talk about how Goodhair and Bush squandered years of prosperity as well as the state’s rainy-day fund, and he failed to do so.

Of course, it’s easy for me as an Unpaid Political Pundit to sit back and wax pompously about Boldness and The Vision Thing because I can use weaselly pundit words and overlook inconvenient facts such as the fact that boldness in this context would have meant talking about taxes. In particular, it would have meant talking about raising taxes, or at least rolling back some of the tax cuts that Dubya implemented. Some of this is going to happen whether people like it or not, but the first person to mention it in a campaign in this state is going to get tarred and feathered for it. It’s hard to crime Sanchez too harshly for realizing that once he mentioned the T word, the campaign would be about nothing else.

And hey, we still don’t know what’s going to happen. Even if Sanchez loses, it doesn’t mean it was because he wasn’t sufficiently bold for me. If he does lose (and I’m certainly not willing to concede that he will), we’ll know sometime after November 5 why he did. He’s played his cards. We’ll see how it goes.

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