The Blum & Weprin poll has been published in the big city dailies, so I am going to pick and choose items to write about, rather than recapitulate the entire poll. The number that jumps out at me is White’s favorable/unfavorable. Yesterday, Rasmussen had this number as 42% favorable, 47% unfavorable. Obviously, this would be a disaster for White. Blum & Weprin have White’s favorable/unfavorable number(s) as 45% favorable, 24% unfavorable. This is much more in line with previous polls. At 45/24, White is a viable candidate. At 42/47, he is not. But there is a third dimension to White’s favorable/unfavorable score: 26% of respondents have not heard enough about White to have an opinion. That translates to millions of dollars that have been spent on television, to no effect. Perry’s job approval is 48% approve, 38% disapprove, 14% not sure. The 38% is remarkably low, especially considering that Perry has been under attack for his job performance for the last ten months (or ten years), counting the Republican primary. However, another 14% are not sure. That looks to me as if a slight majority does not approve of Perry’s job performance. Blum & Weprin find that Perry has a ten point lead among women votes, which they note is very unusual in this state. Perhaps that is a result of White’s lackluster performance in his own TV spots. He doesn’t come across as somebody who has passion for the things he cares about. One of the poll’s questions asks how much of an impact people feel Perry’s policies have had on the Texas economy: 35% a great deal 43% some Conclusion: Perry owns this issue. 78% of the respondents give Perry some credit for the health of the economy. That is STRONG. This is why he is running positive ads about Texas being “open for business.” What makes Perry so tough to beat is that he has a great positive message and a great (anti-Washington) negative message. The positive message counteracts the low esteem in which many Texans hold him. This negative message shifts the focus away from his lackluster record as governor and puts it on Obama. The two messages could be the foundation for a presidential run. No one else in the Republican field can make such a strong argument, and that includes Sarah Palin. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the polls showed that White is hanging in the race. This one is no different. White is within single digits. But there is another component to this race besides numbers, and that component is time. The summer is over, and White hasn’t made a move. September is all but gone. Early voting begins three weeks from today. Time is moving, the numbers are not. With each day that passes, a Perry victory–albeit by an unimpressive margin–seems inevitable.
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