Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rick vs. Kay polling reset... very comprehensive...

There have been so many polls in recent days, it is time for a quick polling reset...

First of all there are a lot of polls that people send me unsubstantiated poll numbers all the time... and it is my policy not to talk about them unless I see them talked about somewhere else where there is third party verification... or if they let me see the entire poll with cross tabs and everything... I have gotten some polls from state rep races showing Rick into the mid to upper fifties in some places... even above 60 in one alleged poll, but again there is no backing to those polls other than emails saying they exist...

Local polling numbers are interesting because they sometimes may reveal trends before they catch on state wide...

For example, Ted Delisi... one of the peeps I have been wrongly accused of being... is sending around HD polls to Paul Burka and Harvey Kronberg.

Ted has clients around the state. He is married to Rick's former chief of staff and current TXDOT chief... so take his polls with a grain or two of salt... still... I think he has some credibility because he is a well known consultant and he is putting his own name on this. He even made some public tweets about it (link). Excerpts follow...
New Numbers Alert: suburban County in Houston Media Market: Perry 58, KBH 20, Medina 15. This is before Medina's risible comment on Beck.
How low can KBH go?? A poll taken this week by someone not running for Governor showed that only 14% are certain they would vote for her.
Which county? Montgomery? Ft. Bend? These are huge Republican voting areas, and Kay is just collapsing in them according to these numbers. Based on what Kay's own finance chair said following their worst kept secret pow wow their campaign had in the Dallas area I think they must be seeing the same numbers (link).

Another Delisi related poll has Rick below the 50% mark but still nearly 20 points ahead of Kay (link). Excerpt follows...

From the Midland congressional district (sent by Ted Delisi)

Gov Race
Perry: 44
KBH: 27
Medina: 16
Undecided: 13

Another poll out of Collin County recently showed Rick up big there as well. Collin County is outside of Dallas and is one of the biggest county generators of Republican votes in the state (link). Excerpt follows...

The sample was 300 Republican primary voters who said they would “definitely” vote or “likely” to vote:

Perry 43.3
Medina 22.7
Hutchison 22.0

This is in Hutchison’s back yard of the Metroplex. I don’t see how she can recover from the free fall from the mid-thirties into the twenties.

It has to be stressed that most of these polls don't have much information backing them up, and all of these polls were done before the true game changer 9/11 truther comments by Debra Medina. I find it very very hard to believe that Medina gets anywhere close to 20%. Despite numbers saying that Medina voters strongly favor Rick over Kay as their second choice I just wonder how much Medina actually collapses... although it looks very likely that Rick will be able to pick up enough of not only the soft Medina supporters but also many of the undecideds to avoid a run off...

I have already dissected the Texas Credit Union poll (link) and the strange liberal Democrat out of state PPP survey (link), but there are also some other new state wide polls from the Texas Tribune and the super liberal Daily Kos blog.

The Daily Kos poll (link) shows Rick at 42%, Kay at 30%, and Medina at 17%, with 11% undecided. In a runoff Rick beats Kay 43-33 with 24% undecided and Rick beats Medina 44-23 with 33% undecided. This again was before Medina's disastrous performance on Glenn Beck...

I don't really trust Daily Kos polls much because they have a vested interest in making it seem really close and generating more out of state money for Bill White... I sort of agree with Paul Burka's assessment (link). Excerpt follows...
Research 2000 is a reputable national polling firm. That said, the result is definitely an outlier.
The Texas Tribune has a lot more credibility since they hired the University of Texas to do their poll (link). Excerpt follows...
Perry had the support of 45 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters — short of the majority required for an outright win. Hutchison had 21 percent and Medina had 19 percent, a two-percentage-point divide that's smaller than the poll's margin of error.

If you are Kay's camp looking at that pie graph, you have to be searching for any way to keep Rick from getting to that 50% mark. It is a difficult task. With Medina's expected polling melt down you can probably expect Rick to get at least half of anything she loses. If she loses 10%, Rick gets 5%, and he is at 50%. That's one scenario. Even if Medina does not fall much or Kay is the primary beneficiary of her crashing and burning, Rick will likely pick up enough from the remaining undecided vote. If Rick gets just one third of the remaining 16% undecided block... he gets 50%. If both of those things happen... Medina collapses and the undecideds break at least a third for Rick... then he will easily win on March 2 without any run off...

Looking deeper at some of the Texas Tribune numbers... Rick is getting more than 1/3 of the remaining undecideds...
Pressed for a preference, 51 percent chose Perry, 34 percent chose Hutchison, and 15 percent chose Medina — an indication that Perry could win without a runoff if he can attract those voters into his camp
Those numbers are percentages of the 16%. Rick getting 51% of the remaining 16% undecided gives him over 8 additional points. That puts him into the 53% range, even without Medina's collapse factoring in.

Kay's "I am so much more electable in November" argument is shattered as well (link). Excerpt follows...
In general election match-ups between the main Democratic candidates and all three GOP candidates, the Republicans generally won comfortably. Among the 800 registered voters surveyed, both Perry and Hutchison best White by a nine-point margin (44%-35% and 43%-34%, respectively). This lead is just outside the 3.46 margin of error. Interestingly, Medina ties White (36%-36%), with a larger proportion of “don’t know” or “someone else” responses (21%/9%).
The final poll in this polling reset is the big state wide poll I mentioned earlier done by all the media outlets together (link). Excerpt follows...

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry holds a commanding lead over his two Republican opponents in a new Houston Chronicle poll, but he still hasn't closed the deal with Republican voters to avoid a runoff with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

However, the race could turn into a Perry victory before the March 2 primary, said pollster Mickey Blum, because of what she called last week's “implosion” of activist candidate Debra Medina.

The poll found Perry leading with 45 percent support among likely Republican voters, with Hutchison at 29 percent and Medina at 17 percent; 8 percent said they were undecided. The Feb. 2-10 telephone interview survey of 464 likely Republican voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The survey was conducted for the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Blum & Weprin Associates Inc.

Blum said normally poll numbers for an incumbent such as Perry will be mirrored in election returns. She said this is an unusual election, though.

“He looks good at this point: A 16-point lead and now the third candidate imploding,” Blum said. “He doesn't need very much to get to 50 percent. He just needs (Medina's) people to either stay home or vote for him.”

This survey has some regional break downs too (link). Excerpt follows...
The survey suggests Perry leads his challengers among likely GOP primary voters among all groups, including women. The governor edges Hutchison, 39 percent to 34 percent, among female voters, and he has a commanding lead among men. He has more support among Republicans in virtually every region of the state, even in Hutchison's home region of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Aman Batheja from Ft. Worth has a slightly different regional take as well (link). Excerpt follows...
In the Fort Worth area (classified in the poll as Tarrant, Parker and Johnson counties), Medina's support picks up considerably. She beats Hutchison, getting 26.2 percent support to the US Senator's 20.2 percent. Perry still leads with 39.9 percent.
Another poll showing Kay behind Debra Medina in a localized area... that will probably evaporate after Medina's truther melt down but you never know.

Dave Montgomery says that Rick leads in every region of the state including Kay's home turf... just not Austin (link). Excerpt follows...

Perry leads in most areas

"Hutchison does not seem to have a real base in the primary against two more conservative candidates," the pollsters said in a summary of their findings.

In regional breakdowns, the poll shows Perry with a comfortable lead in the Dallas area, Hutchison's home turf, drawing 44 percent to 30 percent with 19 percent for Medina. Hutchison makes her best showing in the Austin region, where she leads Perry 41 percent to 33 percent, with Medina drawing 20 percent.

Perry is the clear favorite in West Central Texas, South Texas, East Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast, and he leads Hutchison and Medina among all subgroups, the pollsters said.

Of the various demographic categories, Hutchison's strongest support comes from women, Blum said, but Perry nevertheless edges her 39 to 34 percent among women primary voters. Medina has 17 percent of the female vote.

Perry has a big lead among male voters, drawing 50 percent to Hutchison's 25 percent and Medina's 17 percent.

The Statesman added its take with some pop up charts you can look at as well (link). Excerpt follows...

Usually, incumbents don't build support in the final weeks of an election, Blum said. But Perry could break the 50 percent threshold if Medina's comments cause her supporters to break toward Perry or stay home.

Perry's advantage — he leads in all regions of the state and in every demographic group, and 53 percent of all voters surveyed said the state is on the right track — is unusual at a time when he's looking to extend his term from 10 years to 14 and voters are not smiling on incumbents.


She said that Perry's voters are more certain about their choice than Hutchison's or Medina's.

I looked through the numbers and discovered some interesting things. First, toll roads are actually the most popular way to pay for new roads when the options are laid out for people. Who knew? 48% of Republican primary voters would not vote for someone who agrees with Roe v. Wade... 43% would. Pocket book issues are the big driver this year. Jobs and the economy are the biggest concern of 38% of GOP voters... state budget and taxes gets 21%... with immigration down at 13% and education at 12%.

66% of Rick's voters are "absolutely certain" they are voting for him. Only 56% feel that way about Kay, and 55% feel that way about Medina. Again though Medina's game changer comments probably really do change that dynamic. Kay has the most who are not certain at all they are voting for her... showing that her support is definitely the most tepid and most likely to be discouraged and maybe not show up.

Finally... as I pointed out first and others have picked up on... Rick was the tea party candidate even before the Medina revelation on Glenn Beck, the choice of a clear majority of peeps who identify themselves as tea party supporters (link). Excerpt follows...
In the recent Texas Credit Union League poll, Perry far outperforms Medina in support from people who identify themselves as agreeing with the tea party movement’s principles. And it isn’t close. Perry has 51 percent support of the people who say a candidate who identifies with “tea party” values is a positive thing they will consider. Interestingly, Medina barely out polls Hutchison among tea-party-goers, at 24 to 21.
Completely unscientific but Rick also won the straw poll of the Houston Tea Party (link) on Saturday although Medina was stronger than she really should have been considering her truther comments. Kay actually attended this event unlike Rick so her numbers may have been slightly higher than they would have been otherwise... Rick got 42% (114). Kay got 29% (80). Medina got 29% (79)...

So there you have it. Rick is likely to win without a run off unless Medina's voters are all truthers who actually like her conspiracy theory comments. Kay may have been close to coming in third place before the Medina melt down but now we don't know because the polling is all pre Glenn Beck... and meanwhile the Democrats are set to put Bill White through without a run off.

Will Rick and Bill both get big bounces from the primaries? I think Bill White will benefit from being the nominee and just having all of that media exposure. Rick meanwhile will benefit in terms of getting the GOP establishment to rally around him and not having millions of dollars spent against him each week designed to undermine him from the right and split up his base of support. Rick will also be able to have a "making amends tour" where all of his former detractors awkwardly stand around saying nice things about him, while he says nice things about them... and then they go about their merry ways. Advantage Rick.

The next parlor game will be who Rick will appoint when Kay resigns here in a month or two... assuming she does that.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.