Incumbent Rick Perry's lead over Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has grown a little bigger in the race for this year's Republican gubernatorial nomination in Texas. Tea Party activist Debra Medina also has gained ground, and her gains appear to come at the expense of Hutchison.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of likely Republican Primary voters in Texas finds Perry leading Hutchison 44% to 29%, with Medina at 16%.
Medina has gained four points since the previous survey while Hutchison has lost four points. Perry's support is little changed from a month ago.
How dumb must Kay's advisers, experts, and consultants, feel now? They hoped/tried to make the race Rick versus Medina and hoped to skate by and come out smelling like a rose... Kay's peeps expressly advocated for Medina's inclusion in the first debate and even mocked Rick's peeps for not wanting Medina in the first debate... but they did not necessarily say anything about the second debate after they saw Medina's numbers shoot up after the first one.
Diving into the numbers, it looks even worse for Kay...
Perry leads Hutchison by 18 points among conservative primary voters, and conservatives dominate Republican primaries in Texas and throughout the nation. Hutchison leads by 11 among moderate voters.
Turnout is often difficult to project for primaries. However, for Hutchison to win with the current attitudes, she would need more than 50% of the primary voters to be politically moderate.
Perry leads Hutchison by 24 points among men and five points among women.
Medina picks up 20% of the male vote and 12% support from women.
Eighty percent (80%) of likely primary voters have a favorable opinion of Perry. Sixty-seven percent (67%) say the same about Hutchison, and 50% are that upbeat about Medina.
However, Medina is much more competitive when those with strong opinions are considered. Twenty-four percent (24%) voice a Very Favorable opinion of Perry, 18% have a Very Favorable opinion of Hutchison, and 16% say the same about Medina.
Four percent (4%) have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Perry. Each of the other candidates is viewed Very Unfavorably by eight percent (8%).
Both Kay and Medina have very unfavorable numbers double Rick's very unfavorable numbers. I think it is pretty amazing that 80% have a favorable opinion of Rick while only 67% have a favorable opinion of Kay. That was always supposed to be a Kay advantage. She always led that number over the years. Every Republican consultant in the state would say that Kay is "the most popular politician in Texas." This has been the running tale for years and year. Nobody dared to challenge her because she was considered too popular and too formidable.
Somehow... Kay got dethroned by Rick... the guy who was supposedly so unpopular... all with Medina nipping at her heels...
If Rick can improve his standing among women, he can win out right... as of now he is only up by 5 over Kay among women while leading by 24 among men. Medina does much better among men than women strangely enough...
If the primary is dominated by conservatives, Rick will win by a lot. If it is dominated by moderates, he will still win... by a lot.
As far as avoiding a run off goes... I think Rick still has some work to do.