My Governor’s Race Analysis, Latest Rasmussen Poll

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006 at 1:49 pm by wcnews

The recent poll from Rasmussen (link via BOR below), on the Texas governor’s race is not good news for Chris Bell. It shows Kinky gaining and Grandma holding steady. Essentially it’s a poll that was run in mid-May and it shows Chris Bell and Kinky trading 5% and Perry and Grandma holding steady.

There was much discussion of the poll on this link at BOR, Poll: Kinky in 2nd, Bell Falls to 14%. There was a good thread started by David Van Os, on the TDP’s 38% strategy for the governor’s race. But I particularly liked the analysis in this comment:

For those that attack the poll…

Rasmussen is a highly reputable polling service and a 500 sample size poll is scientifically sound. Unless you’re looking at cross-tabs for a much smaller subset of the overall universe, the numbers are solid.

Kinky has had a highly active field program recently (he needed it to get the petitions to get on the ballot). We have had no field activity. Kinky has, per usual, been a media darling and been basking in earned media. We have not. We have room to grow, he does not. Plus, his support has been jumping so much that it proves it’s soft.

What’s interesting to ME is Strayhorn STILL only gets 19% of the vote after her petition drive. It proves HER support is relatively static and probably won’t change that much, even with a massive media buy. She has nowhere to draw from, Perry OWNS 36-40% of the electorate as his base (all of HIS changes are well within the margin of error) and our base is split between Kinky and Bell.

*I* would have attacked Kinky and tried to keep him off the ballot, but I’m not working for Bell.

Also, apparently, 9% is still undecided. This could prove useful! These people have to be weighing who can beat Perry in November, and they’ll either fall to us or Strayhorn.

Let’s assume Strayhorn gets 19%… and we have NO evidence she’ll do better than that. Perry will pick up 38%, his usual. That’s 57% of the electorate, very close to the RPI statewide in a high turnout election. That leaves 43% up for grabs. We have to hold Kinky/the libertarian to less than 5% combined to be viable.


Stealing from that analysis, we’ve got Perry and Strayhorn sharing the R base and the rest split up between Kinky, Bell and the undecided’s. I personally think that Kinky’s number is too high, no pun intended, and that will bear out in the upcoming polls. But the one thing this poll shows, as all previous polls did too, is that nobody s within striking distance of Perry.

That’s what I believe is the fundamental issue that is being missed in all of this. Until someone can even get into the 30’s Perry’s not even sweating. Whether it’s the disaffected Republicans, the Democrats that think Bell can’t win (really good comments in this post too) and are going to vote for Grandma, or those that usually don’t vote or the D’s that don’t like Chris Bell and are going to vote for Kinky…the one thing Perry has going for him is that he’s got 60% of the “voters” that want him out of office but they’re split between three candidates.

I may be wrong but when it’s all said and done I really don’t think Chris Bell’s support can fall below 25%. With Perry at 38 and Gramda at 20 if my math is right that leaves Kinky at 17%. I still think that’s too high for Kinky come November. Probably Bell into the low-mid 30’s and Grandma with a couple more and Kinky in around 8-9%.

The reality at this point is Perry is looking pretty invulnerable in this 4-way race and unless something changes he’s heading for reelection. Don’t get me wrong I think that Chris Bell is far and away the best candidate and the person who would make the best governor for Texas. But as 2000 showed us being the best qualified for the job means little with it comes to the voters, just ask Al Gore.

We need to push Chris Bell and do all we can to make people realize that coalescing around Chris is the only way to get Perry out of office. Much more important though is doing all we can to get Democrats elected down the ballot. Whether it’s AG, Congress, state House and Senate races or those county positions we need to get the farm team up and running strong again. Adding a few more seats in legislature and winning and/or making gains locally. That, to me, is what will be a success for Democrats in Texas in 2006.

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