Political news from around the state

Posted in 2010 Primary, Around The State, Commentary, Election 2010, Uncategorized, US Senate Race at 10:30 am by wcnews

The group  Public Policy Polling (PPP) did a series of polls around the state recently on the Governor’s race, the US Senate race, and President Obama’s approval.   We’ll discuss them here in that order.  There’s an old political campaign saying to “run like your 20 points down”, and that may actually be the reality for Gov. Rick Perry. If the poll on the upcoming GOP primary is  any indication, Hutchison with large lead over Perry.

If the Republican primary were held today, Rick Perry’s tenure as Governor of Texas would be coming to an end, the newest survey from Public Policy Polling finds.

Perry trails Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison 56-31 among likely GOP primary voters.

While the poll says that Hutchison is viewed favorably by 75% of the likely GOP primary voters, Perry will be doing all he can to lower that number for the next year, Perry’s camp digs for dirt on Kay Bailey Hutchison at Dallas City Hall.

“We’re interested, as most Texans would be, in how Senator Bailout’s husband’s bond business has benefited from her job in D.C.,” said Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner, using a nickname the campaign has applied to the senator for her support of the federal government’s initial financial-industry assistance plan.

Ray Hutchison said that the Perry campaign has filed such open records requests all across the state and that their fishing expedition was “stupid.” He said that he has not benefited from his wife’s position as senator.

“I don’t know what she does. I don’t communicate with her staff,” he said.

He will also employ plenty of pandering to the far right.

[Gov. Perry] appointed a Burleson woman to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles whose criminal justice experience doesn’t seem to extend far beyond a stint on the North Texas town’s powerful Morality Mafia.

PPP also polled both Hutchison and Perry against rumored Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer, and no surprising the virtually unknown Schieffer didn’t fare well, Hutchison, Perry both best Schieffer. That’s not a knock on Schieffer, just reality right now, other than those who follow politics closely in Texas no one knows who he is. No matter it appears Schieffer appears set to announce his candidacy on Monday.

In an interview in Washington, Schieffer, 61, said, “I will make a decision on Sunday after I meet with my family.” He first expressed interest publicly in the post two weeks ago in an interview with the Star-Telegram.

“I have continued to check with people I know all over the state, and I have received an incredible response,” said Schieffer, shaking his head. “I have been amazed at the reaction.”

In other rumored Democratic candidate news Kuff ,in the tease for his upcoming interview with State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, tells us that the Voter ID debate [is] set for the Senate next week.

I did an interview with State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte this evening, and in the course of our conversation, which I’ll be publishing on Monday, she said that there was a hearing set for voter ID legislation – presumably SB362 – in the Senate on March 10.

PPP also polled potential candidates in for the US Senate in Texas should Hutchison resign and found the Texas Senate [race] could be competitive.

Polling on the Senate vacancy that would occur if Kay Bailey Hutchison becomes Governor of Texas is kind of a crap shoot at this point, since it’s not clear what high profile Republican candidates might make the race. Nevertheless PPP’s early snapshot of how some possible match ups might play out gives an indication that it could be the most competitive Senate contest Texas has seen in a number of years.

PPP also polled President Obama’s approval in Texas and found it about even, and mostly along party lines.

46% of Texans disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance so far, with 45% approving.

The views toward him are extremely polarized along party lines, with 90% of Democrats but only 8% of Republicans expressing support. Independents are nearly split down the middle, with 42% giving him their approval and 46% dissenting.


In Texas women, African Americans, Hispanics, and voters under 30 all give the President pretty strong approval while men, whites, and voters over 65 give him poor marks.

While these poll numbers are not great for Democrats, I thought the number for Hutchison (54%),  against a virtually unknown Democrat, was pretty low, and that was with 75% GOP approval. Who knows, after a year through the meat grinder, how those numbers will come out on the other side?  While Royal Masset thinks her 1993 race shows she will next year, via QR, “The best evidence about how Kay will do in the 2010 Republican Primary for Governor is provided by her victory in the 1993 Special Election for US Senate”. That was 16 years ago.  It’s been a long time since, and Hutchison hasn’t had to run in a competitive race since then.  We’ll surely find out if she’s still got it, or if she’s lost a step.

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