Rick Perry Should Be “Embarrassed”
Rick Perry’s poor finish in Iowa and current struggle in South Carolina has hit close to home—according to a new survey from North Carolina’s Public Policy Polling, with eighteen percent, Perry now trails both Mitt Romney (24 percent) and Newt Gingrich (23 percent) among Texas Republican Presidential primary voters.

Even in a theoretical two-man race between Perry and the current national frontrunner Romney, the Texas governor still trailed the former governor of Massachussetts, 46-45. A tiny margin, yes, but Perry outpolled Romney 72-18 in PPP’s September Texas survey.

“These numbers have to be seen as an embarrassment for Rick Perry,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.  “It’s pretty bad when you get to the point where you’re not even in the top two in your own home state.”

Ron Paul is more popular in Iowa and New Hampshire than in Texas
The Lake Jackson congressman was behind both Perry and Rick Santorum in fifth place with twelve percent, and 59 percent of those surveyed said they had an “unfavorable” opinion of him.

The poll also asked, “Do you think Rick Perry’s campaign for President has helped Texas’ image, hurt it, or has it not made a difference?” Only thirteen percent answered “helped,” with 39 percent answering “hurt” and 45 percent “not made a difference.”

Paul fared better in that category,with eighteen percent saying helped, 28 percent saying “hurt” and fifty percent saying “not made a difference.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate race . . .
PPP shows Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst with a 36 percent lead to former Solicitor General Ted Cruz’s eighteen percent, with 31 percent undecided. That’s five-point drop for Dewhurst and a six-point bump for Cruz since the last poll. None of the other U.S. Senate candidates, including former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert (seven percent), had more than single digits.

Newest candidate Craig James hasn’t had much of an impact on the race—not only did he poll at fourth percent, but in the sub-category of voters who identified themselves as SMU fans, the former star running back for the Mustangs trailed not only Dewhurst, Cruz and Leppert, but also Houston plastic surgeon Joe Agris (who was otherwise behind James overall with two percent). 

As Caroline Ward of Texas on the Potomac further summarized:

James has a slightly higher name ID than Cruz — 30 percent to 29 percent — but most people who know him don’t like him. He has an 11 percent positive rating and 19 percent negative. Among fans of his alma mater, SMU, he is liked by 23 percent and disliked by 29 percent. He does particularly poorly among Texas Tech fans: 14 percent positive and 26 percent negative.

And a few other college sports-related tidbits

  • A whopping 79 percent of UTEP fans approved of Perry, with the same number disapproving of Ron Paul. 
  • Just over fifty percent of TCU fans like Tom Leppert (but just 29 percent of SMU fans). 
  • Nearly one third of University of Texas fans polled were for Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul second (seventeen percent), and Perry fourth (ten percent).
  • Perry’s still good with the Aggies fan base, but not by very much28 percent of A&M fans chose the governor, with Gingrich just two points behind him.