The previous poll showed Perry ahead 49-43. This one shows him ahead 48-44. The difference has no significance at this stage of the race. Perry is still under 50%, but very close. Remember, Perry didn’t break 50% in the primary until election day. The most interesting thing about the poll is the small number of undecided voters – just 6%. This is not a good situation for a challenger. You don’t want to be in a race where most voters have already made up their minds. I was also struck by the figure that Perry has a modest lead (5%) among independent voters. As I have pointed out before, based on the findings of the UT/Texas Tribune poll, independent voters tend to be disgruntled Republicans who, when they get in the voting booth, break 4 to 3 in favor of Republicans.
These polls are worth little more than entertainment value at this stage of the race. The good news for White is that there really isn’t any bad news. Two-thirds of Texans want to see the health care bill repealed, according to Rasmussen, but it hasn’t affected his numbers.
Money is not going to be an issue for either of these candidates. The issue for White is the same as it was for Hutchison: Can he develop a message that will resonate with voters? The latest move was an attempt to exploit Perry’s high national profile by contrasting White’s campaigning in Texas with Perry’s speechifying to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Maybe he can say that Perry has gotten a bad case of the big britches. It’s probably the best ammo he has.