The two top hopefuls for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Texas remain out in front of their likeliest Democratic opponent, but now the Tea Party activist who is the third GOP contender is edging ahead as well.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Texas voters finds incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry leading former Houston Mayor Bill White 48% to 39%. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and eight percent are undecided.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison still runs best against the Democrat, leading White by 13 points, 49% to 36%. Seven percent (7%) prefer another candidate, while another seven percent (7%) are not sure.
I've been meaning to comment on ABC13 political analyst Richard Murray's "assessing Bill White's chances in the March Democratic Gubernatorial contest" for awhile. His conclusion that Bill White is likely to win seems reasonable. He provides 6 reasons:
1. White has name ID in Houston.
2. Other than White and Shami, the other 5 have no money.
3. White has only Shami to beat.
4. Self-funders frequently lose.
5. Bill White can raise money.
6. Bill White is good at campaigns.
If I were teaching a college class, and a student turned this analysis in, I'd give them a D+. Yes, it's pretty bad.
A good analysis. Evan over there also has a good read on why Rick is a better general election candidate than Kay (link). Excerpt follows...
In sum, I think Kay Bailey has already lost much of the advantages she would have brought to the general election. Going into the race, we knew she had a popular image, but outside of being a moderate, it wasn't a very defined image. Given that she hasn't run a competitive campaign in 15 years and that her primary campaign has been an absolute messaging and performance disaster, we have to have some skepticism about the current state of her campaign skills. I think most Dems still want to run against Perry, but I think they are about 6 months behind the times.I think almost any Republican... even a yellow lab... could beat any Democrat for governor in Texas this year. Once Rick's peeps ran some ads against Bill White... and he is probably a richer target than even Kay... Bill White would also fall into the Chris Bell category... I think Bill White will win the nomination but in some ways it seems like his race is more likely to go into a run off due to so many different candidates running than the Rick vs. Kay race which has Rick knocking on the door of 50%...
I also think Kay's primary performance... going from solid double digits up to solid double digits down... shows that she could be somewhat vulnerable in other contexts if someone is well funded and running ads with a good message against her... Bill White is probably not the person to do that... but neither is any other Democrat this year...
I don't think electability is a huge reason to vote for a certain Republican candidate in the primary this time around... Kay's argument there is being lost not just to Rick but even the Anybody But Rick peeps who now can vote for Medina instead of Kay...