Austin’s Fox Network station, Channel 7, released the results of a Rasmussen poll (500 likely voters, automated calling) last night that brought good news to Texas Republicans.

President Bush approval rating:
26% Excellent
24% Good
18% Fair
31% Poor

That’s a 50% approval rating, better than he has polled here in a long time.

Rick Perry did not fare so well.

13% Excellent
28% Good
28% Fair
29% Poor

A 41% favorable rating means that his support remains roughly what it was on election day 2006.

Respondents were asked whether they were more likely or less likely to vote for the Republican ticket if Perry were the vice-presidential nominee.

27% More likely
48% Less likely
21% No impact

Do these last two sets of numbers suggest that Perry could win another statewide election? Hardly.

Incumbent Republical John Cornyn has a large lead over his two Democratic challengers. The two Ds’ numbers are so similar that one can conclude the result really reflects party identification rather than a preference for either candidate.

Cornyn 52% Mikal Watts 28%
Cornyn 53% Rick Noriega 30%

In the presidential race, Democrats have been saying that Hillary Clinton is running close to the Republican frontrunners. ‘Taint so. She fails to receive as much as 40% of the vote against any of the Republican frontrunners Giuliani, Thompson, or Romney. I am not surprised by Clinton’s poor numbers in this state. I believe that the Democrats are indeed making some headway in local races in urban areas where there is demographic change, and even in the older suburbs. But not in the rural areas, and not in statewide and national races. Cornyn has a relatively low name identification, and he is blowing the Democrats away. I don’t think he’ll win by 20+ points, but if Hillary is at the top of the ticket, he’ll win by double-digits.