Friday, February 12, 2010

TexTrib poll blows up in their face again

Remember what I said yesterday about polls? It's particularly true of the Texas Tribune's Republican half of their most recent gubernatorial poll -- released today but conducted before the Medina truther kerfuffle, which will surely alter the numbers severely.

So disregard that right away. Let's take a quick look at what they have on the Democratic side, however.

White 50
Shami 11
Everybody else 9

Among Democratic voters, 30 percent were undecided, and of those, 48 percent, when pressed, said they lean toward White. With White already at 50 percent, that means Shami would have to strip votes away from him in order to force a runoff or to claim a win.

That's now two three polls showing pretty much the same result, and both all were conducted in the week prior to their debate on February 7. So with the previous advice about polling value in mind, White may improve on his position. And if these are numbers are accurate I have to eat crow served by Dr. Murray.

Democratic primary voters have a couple of other statewide races to decide. In the contest for lieutenant governor — the winner will face Republican incumbent David Dewhurst in November — labor leader Linda Chavez-Thompson took 18 percent of those polled, former Travis County District Attorney Earle got 16 percent, and restaurateur Marc Katz had 3 percent. Five percent of voters said they wanted "somebody else," and a whopping 58 percent remain undecided on the eve of early voting, which begins on Tuesday.

Recall that the TCUL's numbers from February 3,4, and 6 were Earle 25, Chavez-Thompson 18, and Katz 5. Ms. Chavez-Thompson's is the only campaign with any visibility to me in this contest.

Friedman and Gilbert — two refugees from the governor's race now running for agriculture commissioner — are locked in a tight race, 32 percent to 27 percent. While Friedman's ahead, the difference is within the poll's margin of error. And, as with the Lite Guv race, “undecided” is actually leading, at 41 percent.

These two are going at each other hammer and tong. After the DMN disguised a slap at Gilbert with a lukewarm endorsement of Friedman, Gilbert shoved back with this:

Kinky told the El Paso Times Tuesday, among other nonsensical things, that Governor Perry could win re-election and "will probably be President".  This despite running four years ago in the governor's race as a spoiler and taking votes from the actual Democrat.

"We knew that Kinky's baggage would be used to damage the Democratic ticket by suppressing minority turnout," said Gilbert campaign consultant Mike Lavigne referring to questionable comments in the candidate's recent past.  "But we didn't expect him to dismiss the Democratic gubernatorial nominee before there even was one."

Kinky then countered with an endorsement of Bill White. Stay tuned for more headlines today from these two, and probably every day until Election Day.

Last interesting bit from the TexTrib's poll ...

How strong is the Tea Party movement, and who does it steal votes from? Asked the generic congressional question with that movement included as a third organized party, 21 percent said they would choose the Republican, 36 percent would choose the Democrat, and 16 percent would vote for the Tea Party candidate. More than a fourth — 27 percent — said they were undecided. So the Democratic numbers held, while Republicans lost 16 points to the Tea Party and the rest to undecided.

"The electorate is responding to whatever it is they're associating with the Tea Party — at the expense of the Republicans," Henson said. While that's not necessarily to the advantage of the Democrats, he said it will have an effect on the majority party: "The tea party is going on in the Republicans' house."

Take that with a grain of salt, and now toss it out.

Update: Katherine at Burnt Orange adds the results of the Research 2000 poll conducted by the Daily Kos, and rounds up all of the February polls in pretty side-by-side graphs. That view makes it seem likely that Governor MoFo doesn't clear a run-off -- but again, the Medina gaffe's effect is reflected in none of them.

So hit the reset button ... or the flush handle.

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