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Poll numbers for Perry

Rob comes through again in the comments on this post, by finding this report on the Montgomery poll regarding redistricting and Governor Rick Perry’s popularity. It ain’t pretty:

Surveyors told respondents, “Governor Perry has called an unusual special session to change current congressional districts, although they were redrawn just two years ago,” and then asked “Do you support or oppose this redistricting effort?” 45.5 percent of Texans opposed redistricting; 30 percent supported it. One in four respondents (24.5 percent) did not have an opinion.

Strongest opposition came from Democrats (70.9 percent), East Texans (55.7 percent), African-Americans (55.7 percent), Central Texans (52.5 percent), and Hispanics (51 percent). Self-identified Republicans were the only demographic group who were more likely to support than oppose the redistricting effort (47.9 percent supported, 24.8 percent opposed). Texans aged 18-34 were in a statistical tie on the issue, 36.9 percent supporting and 35.4 percent opposed.

Margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%. I wish that we could see a full breakdown of the numbers, but the message is pretty clear: this effort is not popular with anyone.

So how’s Perry doing?

On the Governor’s job performance rating, 7.4 percent of respondents said Gov. Perry was doing an excellent job; 38.1 percent said a good job; 34.1 percent said “only fair”; and 14.5 percent said the Governor was doing a poor job. 5.8 percent had no opinion. That’s an overall 45.5 percent positive, 48.6 percent negative rating. Except for a bump among Republicans (64.4 percent positive), Perry did not do particularly well among any group. He did particularly poorly among African Americans (73.4 percent negative) and Democrats (68.4 percent negative).

Perry’s impression numbers were mixed. 33.7 percent had a favorable impression of him, while 24.6 percent had an unfavorable impression. 38.7 percent were neutral. These numbers held fairly steady among most demographic groups, except for the expected shifts among self-identified Republicans (51.9 percent favorable, 10.4 percent unfavorable) and Democrats. (15.8 percent favorable, 43.1 percent unfavorable).

This comes with a couple of big caveats. First and foremost, Perry doesn’t run for reelection until 2006, which is an eternity from now. Second, these numbers are not all that different from what they were just before the 2002 election.

The [Scripps Howard Texas] poll also showed that only 44 percent of the people approved of the governor’s performance in office — his lowest mark since taking office. It was down 23 percentage points from fall 2001, when Perry enjoyed a 67 percent approval rating.

In other words, the Democrats would still have to field a good candidate in 2006 in order to take advantage of Perry’s lukewarm ratings, and that’s just a start.

Still, though, if the Democrats play their cards right, they should have a good campaign issue on their hands in 2004. If no map gets passed on a majority vote, or if a map does get passed but then gets thrown out by the courts, they can make a lot of hay about what a waste of time and money this all was, and they can tie individual legislators with Perry for the blame. If nothing else, this poll indicates that it ought to be better for the Dems to talk about the redistricting issue in 2004 than it will be for the GOP.

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One Comment

  1. glen boudreaux says:

    Good work, Chuck, on the Perry poll.