01.29.13

State of the State reaction and Perry polling badly

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 3:01 pm by wcnews

Here’s my summation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s State of the State speech. (For the rest see Harold Cook’s, Rick Perry state-of-the-state spoiler). It pretty much boiled down to a list of proposals.

A Constitutional amendment to approve tax rebates..

He re-asserted he’s still against expanding Medicaid and setting up a state run exchange, instead opting to let the federal government handle it…

He said, “Our surging arts communities are yet another reason so many people and employers are choosing to come to Texas.” Is this true? It seemed odd and out of place…

He wants to spend $3.7 billion from Economic Stabilization Fund (aka, Rainy Day Fund), for water and infrastructure (transportation)…

He said he wants to end tax diversions, blah, blah, blah…

He professed his support for public school vouchers…

And lastly reaffirmed hi support for $10,000 college degree, (doesn’t say how he’ll pay for it)….

Watch the Democratic response here.  Here’s the statement from TDP Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa:

We must do better for this great state of ours. The best way to create jobs and secure a strong economy for Texas is to invest in our future. We need to educate our children and increase the success of our public schools. We need to make sure that Texans have health insurance. We must allow for the Medicaid expansion that could save the lives of 5,700 adults and 2,900 children every year. These are not issues to play politics with. These are issues that demand leadership. Gov. Perry made clear, once again, that he lacks the leadership ability required to move Texas Forward.

There was nothing spectacular of new in the speech. There was a protest during the speech, by the Texas Organizing Project, to urge Gov. Perry to expand Medicaid in Texas.

More than a dozen other protestors with the Texas Organizing Project, wearing teal-colored t-shirts, were escorted from the statehouse.

Not long after Perry began his State of the State speech, Caldwell stood in the House gallery and shouted: “Gov. Perry, what are you going do about the 7 million uninsured people in Texas?”

Other protestors sitting around him began chanting as troopers hustled to the group, and began escorting them out of the chamber. Perry, who had just announced a tax-rebate plan when the protest exploded, went on with his speech.

We need much more activism and organizing like this, to shed light on these and other issues.  Great job TOP!! [More here.]

Just before Perry’s speech today Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the resluts of a poll they recently did on Perry’s approval in Texas, Perry looking highly vulnerable.

Texas voters- even Republicans- have had enough of Rick Perry.

PPP’s newest poll finds that only 31% of voters think Perry should seek reelection next year, compared to 62% who think it’s time for him to step aside. He’s among the most unpopular Governors in the country, with only 41% of voters approving of him to 54% who disapprove.

Perry could face great peril in a primary challenge next year. Only 41% of GOP primary voters want him to be their candidate again, compared to 47% who think it’s time for someone else. And in a head to head match up with Attorney General Greg Abbott, Perry leads by only a 41/38 margin. What makes those numbers particularly worrisome for Perry is that Abbott only has 59% name recognition at this point with primary voters. Among voters who are familiar with Abbott- whether they like him or not- he leads Perry 55/33. That suggests the potential for things to get worse for Perry if Abbott does indeed go forward with a bid.

The Abbott threat to Perry does not represent the typical Tea Party insurgency that has endangered many Republican office holders over the last couple election cycles. GOP voters describing themselves as ‘very conservative’ want Perry to be their candidate again by a 53/33 margin. But moderates (77/15) and voters identifying as just ‘somewhat conservative’ (49/38) are both ready for a change.

[...]

There’s been some speculation recently that Perry might be interested in making another bid for the White House. But only 14% of Texans think Perry should run again, to 79% who are opposed to the idea. Even among his fellow Republicans only 22% think Perry should run for President again with 66% against the concept.

It’s never smart to totally rule out Rick Perry. In 2010 he ended up faring much better in both the primary and general elections than where he started out. But at least for now most Texas voters are ready to move on.

Full results here.

I really don’t care what the polls say at this point, I’ll believe Perry’s vulnerable the day he loses an election. That being said CPRIT has the potential to finally wound Perry, and Abbott is an acceptable alternative – in a way that Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn’t – to the wing nuts who think it’s time for Perry to “get on down the road”.

More Reaction to the speech [will update as they come in]:
Rep. Mark Strama, Governor doubles down on no Medicaid expansion.
Texas Tribune, Perry Talks Water, Tax Relief in State of the State.
Wayne Slater, Perry touts Texas’ recovery, calls for tax cuts in State of the State. Very aptly points out that Perry didn’t mention immigration at all.
KUT, Five Takeaways from Gov. Perry’s State of the State Speech.
Dave Montgomery, Gov. Perry calls for $1.8 billion in tax relief for Texans.
Texas Observer, In State of State Speech, Perry Calls for Tax Cuts, Rejects Medicaid Expansion.
Conservative Politics – Texas Style, Seriously?
Dos Centavos, SOTS: The Power of Words (or Lack of Them).
Paul Burka thinks this was Perry’s last SotS, Not with a bang but a whimper.

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