Texas Poll: Strayhorn 21%, Kinky 12%

A new Rasmussen poll gives us a picture of the current state of the 4-way governor’s race in Texas. Not a bad start for Strayhorn who has only been in this race for about a week.

A couple of weeks ago, it seemed like Texas Governor Rick Perry might have weathered the intra-party storm. Perry led State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn by large margins in Republican Primary polling and there were no Democrats likely to beat him one-on-one in the red state of Texas.

Earlier, Perry had escaped another challenge when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to stay in Washington and run for re-election as a Senator.

Perry’s good fortune ended on January 2 when Strayhorn pulled out of the Republican Primary competition and announced she would run as an Independent.

Now, in a 4-way race, the incumbent Governor earns just 40% of the statewide vote. Strayhorn attracts 21% of the vote (including 17% of Republicans). Democrat Chris Bell is in third place with 14% and another Independent, Kinky Friedman, attracts 12%. Collectively, the three opponents attract support from 47% of all Texas voters.

Perry, with a 19-point lead, must still be considered the favorite in this race. But, he is far less comfortable than he was when Strayhorn was challenging him in the Primary. The unusual dynamic of a Republican official challenging a Republican Governor in a General Election could make for a wild political season in Texas.

For her part, Strayhorn has her sites set squarely on challenging Perry. In her speech announcing the Independent candidacy, she said, “Governor Perry may be doing the best he can, but after five years we have learned that he is not the strong leader we need to put Texas above politics. He has made the politics of division worse in Austin, not better.”

Bob Gammage, a former State Supreme Court Judge, is also interested in the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Perry. He will be tested in the next Rasmussen Reports Texas poll.

11 Responses to “Texas Poll: Strayhorn 21%, Kinky 12%”

  1. watcherwatcher Says:

    I’m surprised this web site calls itself “Third Party Watch” but fails to mention the only third party candidate in this race: James Werner, the probable Libertarian nominee.

    Even if he only gets a few percent, it could very well be the few percent that makes or breaks Perry.

  2. rj Says:

    He only covers serious efforts. So 1% doesn’t do the trick.

  3. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Not exclusively… I’m sure I’ll have a story or two on the LP and CP efforts. But in a race with 2 very high profile independents, I think it’s only reasonable not to water that down with equal coverage of every single candidate. That’s the only reason I haven’t mentioned much of them (though I did republish an item on the record slate of LP candidates). In this instance, Rasmussen (the people who did the poll) didn’t bother to poll for anyone but the 4 main candidates.

  4. Ragnar Danashold Says:

    Friedman for Governor!

  5. IndiPol Says:

    I’d be interested in the polling criteria,i e likely voters or registered voters or whatever. This isn’t good news for Kinky, but I suspect this is a “bounce” from Stryhorns announcement. Wait until the petition drive and then closer to the election to see some movement for Kinky. The debates are going to be a circus!

  6. Austin Cassidy Says:

    It was a survey of 500 “Likely Voters”

    I think you had to expect a drop for Kinky though, because at least part of his support was just people fed up in general with the two parties… and once they had a higher-profile candidate with more of a political resume (and probably more money) in the race… that block of “pissed off Independents” would gravitate somewhat toward Strayhorn.

  7. Joey Dauben Says:

    There will be no debates with Kinky or Strayhorn, I’m sorry to break it to ya.

    Perry will debate the Democrat and that’s it. But they might ease up and allow Strayhorn in just for PR reasons.

    Don’t think just because the media attention gravels toward Kinky that that means he’ll be in debates.

  8. IndiPol Says:

    Depends on who conducts the debates. If it is KERA Productions who conducted the last gov debate in 2002 then all four would be invited, but unfortunately the Dem/Reps proably will boycott any debates with the indie candidates. And I don’t think the LP will make the 5% polling threshhold.

  9. Randy Edwards Says:

    This poll plays out exactly as I thought it would. Perry loses to the combined opposition by 7 points, but leads by nearly 20 points. Strayhorn has a lot of ground to make up and her current ads won’t do it. I also tend to think that the Dem will wind up somewhere in the 30s in this race just based on the straight ticket voting in the major metro areas.

    My guess on the final for this race: Perry 40%, Dem 30% Strayhorn 25% Kinky 5%

  10. Austin Cassidy Says:

    One twist I could see is if the Dem candidate really starts to lag in the polls and some of his voters see Strayhorn as the only serious option for beating Perry.

    If the polls support a scenario like this, Strayhorn could carefully fan this idea with a last minute direct mailing giving the Democrats a taste of the “wasted vote” arguement.

  11. Jerry Larson Says:

    According to recent newspaper reports, Ms. Strayhorn is raking in the cash quite a bit faster than the Dems. The last report I saw had Gov. Perry reporting $13.5 million, Strayhorn at about $8 million, Kinky at about a quarter of a million, and the various Dem hopefuls all somewhere around the million dollar range, for the most part.

    If this holds (and there’s nothing saying it won’t), then there’s a chance that at least Strayhorn (and maybe Kinky) could become a real player in this fall’s election. This would be welcome, because many of us have grown weary of watching one party walk away with every statwide election for over a decade.

    As the only person seeking the Green Party nomination for governor, I’m hopeful that these independent candidates get people interested in having a look at others who are running. I’m also hopeful that it lets people see that a vote for someone other than a major party candidate isn’t a vote “stolen” from a Democrat or Republican.

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