Perry lead helped by Obama

Houston Chronicle:

Ill will toward President Barack Obama and a voter belief that Republican Gov. Rick Perry has helped save the Texas economy are giving Perry a re-election lead over Democrat and former Houston Mayor Bill White, according to a new poll done for the Houston Chronicle and four other state newspapers.

Perry leads with 46 percent support to 39 percent for White, with Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass trailing at 4 percent among likely voters; 11 percent were undecided.

Green Party candidate Deb Shafto had less than 1 percent support.

"It's not an insurmountable lead," said pollster Micheline Blum, but "he certainly looks like he's headed for another term. … Perry has probably both the votes and the enthusiasm behind him."

Despite White and his allies spending millions of dollars on television ads attacking Perry this summer, Blum said the race has remained essentially unchanged since February.

Blum said voters seem to have made up their minds early, and she sees little volatility in the race. Blum said the voters who are undecided probably will not cast a ballot Nov. 2.

The enthusiasm of Republican voters is dramatic. Among registered voters who answered the survey, Republicans held an advantage of 9 percentage points — roughly typical of the vote in recent elections.

Among those who said they are likely to vote, the Republican advantage jumped to 18 percentage points over Democrats.


Perry holds a 3-percentage-point lead over White among men and a 10-point advantage among women. Blum said that may reflect women viewing Perry as the candidate most likely to bring about economic security.

About half the likely voters said they believe Texas is on the right track, while 36 percent disagreed.


Fifty-seven percent of the likely voters disapproved of the job Obama is doing, but among Republicans his disapproval was more than 80 percent, and almost 70 percent of the independents were unhappy.

I think the pollster is right that the undecideds in this race are unlikely to vote. The results among women has to be disheartening to Democrats who usually count on an advantage among women voters. In fact, the Washington Post's Dan Balz as "Can women save the Democrats?" In Texas the answer is "No" at this point.

While Democrats take some heart from the fact that Perry has not broken 50 percent, their own guy has not broken 40 percent in the same poll.When you look at the Obama disapproval numbers among independents, the chances are remote that White will get much help from that group.


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