From Lincoln Park Strategies: With speculation growing that ESPN announcer Craig James will soon announce his campaign to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a new survey shows the Celina Republican will have a tough time earning the support of West Texas voters. The survey was conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, a Washington D.C.-based political research firm as part of their ongoing survey series on political issues in Texas. 401 likely general election 2012 voters in the West Texas metropolitan regions of Lubbock, Odessa-Midland, and Amarillo were surveyed March 2-3, 2011. “With Craig James’ recent claim that people in Lubbock support him [published in D Magazine], we decided to take a closer look at voter sentiment in West Texas,” said Stefan Hankin, President of Lincoln Park Strategies. “We found that Mr. James has virtually zero support in West Texas. He is, most likely due to his role in the firing of Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, a very unpopular figure.” Source: While the entire region is not overly friendly territory for Craig James, the former SMU football star is especially unpopular in the Lubbock area with 52% of voters having an unfavorable opinion of Craig James and only 7% having a favorable opinion. “If you had to pick a winner in the PR battle between Mike Leach, Craig James and the Texas Tech administration, the former football coach is the overwhelming winner,” added Hankin. It is interesting to note that 14 months after his dismissal, among the 70 percent of voters with an opinion on the issue, only 25% believe that Coach Leach deserved to be fired.  A plurality of voters, 43%, feel the Texas Tech Athletic Director and Chancellor mishandled the situation and have tarnished the school’s reputation and 25% believe that James abused his position and influence at ESPN to have Coach Leach fired because Leach would not give James’ son more playing time.