Bill White’s campaign for Texas governor looks to be doing really well since the primary. And I’m not just talking about yesterday’s poll numbers, Texas Governor: Perry 48%, White 44%.
Any incumbent who earns less than 50% support at this stage of a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable.
We already knew Perry was vulnerable after the GOP primary in Texas since he barely eked out over 50% of the vote of his own party faithful. But in keeping up with White’s blog on his web site he’s been busy going all over the state and he’s appearing on local radio as he goes – listen here and here. The more he’s known the better he’ll do.
But White thus far has been hammering Perry on this failings, and neglect, of education in Texas, via the Texas Tribune today.
As Bill White continues to drill Gov. Rick Perry over the state’s education record, poll numbers show he’s gaining some traction against the decade-long incumbent.
While White stumped in San Antonio yesterday, he pointed to Perry’s lack of support for the University of Texas at San Antonio in its ambitions to become a Tier One research university and said the governor had not done enough to support higher education in the state. He also tweaked the governor for declining to apply to Race to the Top, the federal education grant program.
The remarks in San Antonio come after a San Marcos event on Friday, where White took aim at the State Board of Education in front of a group of several hundred teachers, asking “Wouldn’t it be great to have a governor who appointed a State Board of Education chair who understood that you ought to leave the curriculum to professionals?”
As Kuff points out, while the poll is good news, there’s still a long way to go.
That’s a nice result, but I wouldn’t make too much of a two point shift. It’s more likely float in the margin of error than anything else. Give me a bigger shift next month, or two more months of little moves like this, and then we can talk. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but it could easily be 49-43 next month without meaning anything much, too.
This is no doubt due to his consolidating Democratic and Dem-leaning independent support as he’s become better known. Perry’s numbers, on the other hand, have been flat. That’s not unexpected for a universally-known incumbent, but it suggests he may be at a ceiling. That ceiling is pretty close to 50%, however, and at least in Rasmussen’s world there are precious few undecided voters, so the path forward for each candidate is to take voters away from the other guy, which is another way of saying this will be a negative campaign. Which I’m sure you already knew.
BOR has more on the poll.
One issue that has hurt Perry in recent months has been his record on the economy. Though Perry loves touting Texas as the leader in the country on the economy, the fact is he’s using metrics that mean relatively little to most people. There are very real reasons to challenge Rick Perry’s economic record in Texas, including:
And this video as well.
Governor Perry also got called out on a falsehood from his recent interview with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune by Politifact Texas. In it he said, “We had a press conference here that interestingly no one in the mainstream media covered.” Well they did. He also showed himself to be a political hack in the interview when asked about former President Bush.
What Bill White can do that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Debra Medina were unable to do, is to consolidate the 61% of the vote that voted against Perry in 2006 to enable him to get over 50% in November. By being able to point out Perry’s failings, which are many, across the political spectrum, White definitely has a chance against a vulnerable incumbent, of which many Texans have grown weary.