Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kay set for third place?

I blogged last night about the new Texas Credit Union poll showing Rick at 49%, Kay at 27%, and Medina at 19%. It is not looking good for Kay... we are witnessing a major political implosion here.

The liberal Democratic affiliated PPP also put out an... odd... poll this week showing Kay close to third place (link). Excerpt follows...
Could the Republican primary for Governor in Texas end up in a runoff between Rick Perry...and Debra Medina? Medina is coming on strong and polls now at 24%, just four points behind Kay Bailey Hutchison's 28%. Perry continues to hold a double digit advantage at 39%.
Why do I call it an "odd" poll?
Medina is drawing her support from self identified liberals? Are these libertarians or actual liberals? From what I have seen in my comments section and all over the internet, Medina is the "only true conservative" in the race. At the same time, there are rumors about Medina's views on various social issues such as drug decriminalization that do seem not exactly "conservative." The very astute blog also points out that Medina is winning among Obama voters, which is again very... odd (link).

I have a lot of other questions about this poll... for example Rick has a better approval rating among women than men, and he outpolls Kay more among women than among men... which is not the case in any other poll out there...
Then there's Medina... she gets 18% from self identified Republicans and 35% from self identified Democrats... does this mean Democrats are crossing over to support Medina knowing she is a weaker general election candidate?

The racial angles also seem to be an outlier compared to many polls I have seen...
In most polls I have seen over the past few months Rick is trailing among Hispanics but dominating among Whites... this poll has Rick barely up among Whites but dominating among Hispanics? I am skeptical...

There is one number that stands out... and is probably helping Kay's peeps sleep at night. It is not exactly a secret that Republican voters skew old. The 65 and older age segment makes up a huge portion of Republican voters... in this group, Rick has 44%, Kay has 33%, and Medina has 15%.

Regardless of whether this poll's internal logic is consistent... this is really really bad news for Kay because perception is reality in many cases. The perception is that Kay is falling into third place.

Add to that R.G. Ratcliffe blogged some numbers from Collin County (link). Excerpt follows...

More bad polling news for Hutchison

Collin County was No. 5 in Republican turnout in the 2008 primaries, and it's in the backyard of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has lived in Dallas for the past three decades.

But a new survey of Collin County voters shows Hutchison in a dead heat with activist Debra Medina.

Political consultant Joe Counter did a countywide survey of 300 likely Republican primary voters on Monday on behalf of four local candidates. He threw a horse-race question in about the governor's race. The result:

Gov. Rick Perry 43.3 percent
Hutchison, 22 percent
Medina, 22.7 percent
Undecided 11 percent
Refused to answer 1 percent

Counter said he was not surprised by the result.

"I've been thinking for awhile that the air is coming out of the tires on the Hutchison campaign, and Medina is gaining support with the Tea Party crowd," Counter said.

Counter said Perry has a "commanding lead" and the big question will be whether he can win without a runoff. And if Perry is in a runoff, Counter said he's not sure whether the opponent will be Hutchison or Medina.

"Medina continues to gain traction," Counter said.

Again I would need to see some details behind the poll before I started to believe it... however, Kay should be worried. She may be aiming for third place on her current path... but I doubt she will start gunning for Medina either. Even if Kay did gun for Medina, what have they done for the past 15 months to prove they have any idea how to attack effectively?

Every dollar Kay's peeps spend against Rick is a dollar helping Medina's numbers. Every dollar Kay's peeps spend against Medina might end up being a dollar for Rick... yet if Kay is not careful she could end up completely left out of a primary run off if Rick doesn't get 50%.

It is a really bad position for Kay to be in... coming in third place would be an incredible failure considering Kay was unanimously considered "the most popular political figure in Texas " and was up by 25 points over Rick one year ago in various polls.

If they come in last place, Kay's team would all carry that with them the rest of their careers. People would ask them years from now... "how did you pull off that disastrous result despite running such a popular politician?" Their answers would all be... "Kay was terrible to work for... it was all her fault... Kay wouldn't let us run the campaign the way we wanted to... outside forces were too much for us to overcome..." and they would probably be right...

By coming in third place, Kay's entire political career would be overshadowed and undermined... every biography and every article would have that massive failure in the top paragraph.

In fact without a major change in course from Kay's campaign I would not be completely shocked to see her come in dead last. The trends are just too strong right now to deny this is a possibility. Kay and her peeps have the money in the bank to change course. Do they have the smarts or the skill to pull it off?

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