Gov. Rick Perry keeps telling us the Texas economy is in better shape than the rest of the nation, and that's probably true. But Rasmussen's surveys hint that voter confidence on the issue may be in decline, a point that could help Democrat Bill White in the fall.
Here's how it flows:
The January survey by the firm found 9 percent of Texans think the state economy is in good or excellent shape. That number is up to 10 percent in the most recent poll, which means it statistically is unchanged.
In January, 42 percent said the state economy is in poor shape. Today, 40 percent. Again, unchanged.
Thirty-four percent in January thought the economy was getting better while that number today is 32 percent. Again, essentially unchanged.
But here's the number that bit me on the nose: In January, 35 percent said the state's economy is getting worse. That number today is 46 percent. That's a leap.
Yes, that is a leap. It is a leap though about the national economy. Rick and his peeps aren't saying Texas is all rainbows and buttercups... they are saying that Rick and his policies have protected Texas from the disaster in the national economy.... that Texas is faring relatively well in comparison.
Ask Texans about the national economy, and they will say it is a disaster. Ask them about the local economy, or the state economy, and they will say it could be better but few will declare it to be terrible. I am not just making this up. There are polls out there that talk about this, including a recent one of exclusively $100K+ a year Texans (link). Excerpt follows...
Texans believe the local economy is on the right track and the national economy is not, the report said. Conversely, the national elite believe by a slightly smaller margin that the national economy is on the right track.
On Jobs and the Economy:
-Texans believe that Texas is creating jobs faster than other states, with 86 percent agreeing somewhat or strongly that this is the case.
If anything, this growing angst about the national economy helps Rick even further, and hurts Bill White. It helps Rick differentiate himself from Washington, from Obama, and from the Democrats who are in charge of our country. Bill White is harmed by an association with Obama and the Democrats who have ruined our country economically...
The turnout issue is another one. If more Texans feel anxious about Obama's national economy, they will rally around the Texas choice Rick who has helped lead the Texas economy to an unemployment rate 2 points below the national average and 4 points below the California rate... Republicans were complacent in 2006 and 2008, but they will come out to vote against Democrats.
Rick will be able to play all kinds of populist cards about needing to protect the Texas economy from ObamaCare, cap and trade, and other issues that Bill White supports.