Zogby’s latest poll has Chris Bell within 8 points of Rick Perry:

Perry 36.7
Bell 28.5
Strayhorn 15
Friedman 14.4

Bell has managed to hang around in the governor’s race despite having terrible fundraising problems (which I detailed in a previous post, “Rhymes with ‘Cash'”), and, as a result, only a sporadic presence on television. Actually, Bell is on TV quite a lot–mainly in those Perry commercials that refer to him as a Washington liberal. Perhaps Bell has taken the position that as long as he’s getting name recognition for free, why pay for it.

The bad news for Bell is that his success seems to have come not at Perry’s expense but at Strayhorn’s. Here is Zogby’s previous poll, from October 25:

Perry 38%
Bell 22%
Strayhorn 21%
Friedman 11%

And a similar Rasmussen poll from around the same time:

Perry 36%
Bell 25%
Strayhorn 22%
Friedman 12%

Strayhorn’s own internal poll, which her campaign released late last week, had Perry at 32%, Strayhorn at 27%, and Bell at 22%.

This kind of movement in six days is certainly possible late in a campaign, but it is equally possible that the wide splits between the two Zogby polls could be attributable to a design flaw in the poll. No less significant than Bell’s surprisingly high percentage is that Perry’s numbers continue to creep upward. I don’t see any hope for Strayhorn, not just because of the number but also because of the failure of her campaign to develop any message other than Perry Stinks.