Rasmussen poll

Rasmussen: 48-27-16 (9% undecided)

Feb 24, 2010 By Paul Burka

Perry creeps ever closer to the magic 50% that would enable him to win without a runoff—which the Perry camp expects him to do. Hutchison’s position appears to be hopeless, not that this is anything new, but it does raise the question of whether, if Perry comes in with just…

Rasmussen: Perry 44, Hutchison 29, Medina 16

Feb 2, 2010 By Paul Burka

Perry gained 1 point since the previous poll. Hutchison lost 4 points. Medina gained 4 points. Hutchison now is lower in the polls (29) than Perry was (30) when she first announced that she would run for governor. Key stat: If voters maintain their current attitudes, Hutchison needs 50% of…

A call from the Hutchison campaign

Jan 20, 2010 By Paul Burka

The call had to do with my post yesterday ("Was the Hutchison poll phony?") in which I expressed my concern about whether their poll, which the campaign has said showed them two points down, was on the level. Obviously, the campaign was none too happy about what I wrote, and in retrospect I think the snark factor was excessive, even for blogging. After we got the "pleasantries" out of the way, they offered to share some information with me. The main reason for my doubts, as I wrote, were the differences between the campaign poll and the Rasmussen poll, which reinforced previous polls about the race. I was also dubious about the 26% of the electorate that was said to be undecided. This seems like a very large number in a race in which 88% of the vote (Perry 43%, Hutchison 33%, Medina 12%) is already accounted for. Today I met with a representative of the campaign. The representative showed me some numbers, which I will pass along to readers. As I have said repeatedly in the comments section in response to readers who have questioned the accuracy of polls that I have reported on, I am not the local Honda dealer. I don't give warranties, or a "CR Recommended" rating from Consumer Reports. Readers can judge the credibility of the information for themselves. Caveat emptor. 1. The Hutchison campaign, like most campaigns, does polling on a small scale as well as on a large scale, polls that are snapshots in time. I saw the results of some of these polls, graphed and printed. They show that since January 3, Hutchison has trailed Perry by no more than 3 points and has led by no more than 2 points. 2. One of the things discussed during the call was the accuracy of the Rasmussen poll, which has been my "control" for polls about the race. I pointed out that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA, the robocall polls, did the best job of calling the 2004 election. The Hutchison folks pointed out that Rasmussen is the only pollster who had Scott Brown losing in Massachusetts. (This was before the polls closed.) Sure enough, Rasmussen called it wrong. 3. The Hutchison campaign has done polling about the debate. This is what they came up with: --21.7% of the primary electorate viewed the debate --39.1% thought Medina won --16.9% thought Hutchison won --15.5% thought Perry won --14.4% thought Perry and Hutchison tied --14.1% were undecided None of these numbers seem implausible to me, though the viewership seems quite high for a gubernatorial primary debate. Maybe people are just very interested in politics right now.

Rethinking Rasmussen: Perry leads Hutchison by 5 among likely GOP primary voters (The rest is garbage)

Sep 27, 2009 By Paul Burka

"Things are seldom what they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream." --Gilbert and Sullivan A reputable GOP consultant who is not engaged with either gubernatorial campaign has concluded after looking at the crosstabs of the Rasmussen poll that the poll's conclusion that Hutchison is leading by Perry by 2 points is unreliable. I have seen the crosstabs, and they are weird. The only question that matters is who are you for? This question has two columns for respondents. One column is for "Republicans." The second is for "Other." Other? Who is "other?" It appears that Rasmussen did two telephone surveys on September 16. One was to 790 "likely" Republican primary voters. The other was an unknown number of calls to an undefined group of recipients. I put likely in quotes because I hear from pollsters that affirmative responses to a question about whether a respondent will vote in a primary is notoriously unreliable. Most people, if asked, will say that they intend to vote. Here is the result among likely Republican voters: Perry 44% Hutchison 39% Medina 2% Not sure 15% Now, here is the result among "Other" voters Perry 28% Hutchison 41% Medina 5% Not sure 25% This is more or less what you would expect from Democrats and independents -- almost a 50% edge for Hutchison and a lot of undecideds, since they don't know what the final lineup of candidates is going to look like. Oh, here's something else from the crosstabs: "Other" voters approve of Obama by 2 to 1.

Rasmussen: The September Surprise

Sep 18, 2009 By Paul Burka

Hutchison 40%, Perry 38%. This is a stunning development. Hutchison was down 46-36 in July and had a poor rollout of her campaign in August. What accounts for the turnaround? 1. Overconfidence and misjudgments in the Perry camp. I have had a number of conversations with Perry supporters, friends of mine, who ooze confidence that everything has been going Perry's way since his remarks about secession in April. This led the Perry camp to commit the error of going for the quick kill when Hutchison launched her campaign in August. At her first event, in her hometown of LaMarque, the Perry campaign parked a truck near the rally. A sign read, “Kay Bailout Express: Delivering record debt, pork and bailouts since 1993.” At a Dallas rally, the Perry campaign hired an airplane that carried a banner demanding that Hutchison release her income tax returns. Sometimes Perry supporters showed up with pigs, or pig hats, to label Hutchison as someone who ladles out pork. Perry insiders have always believed that they could "get in Kay's head" with such tactics, as they did in 2006, with the ultimate aim of driving her out of the race. These theatrical tactics would have been appropriate in a general election campaign against a Democrat, but they were over the top in a family fight in the Republican primary. Hutchison is very popular. The Perry campaign's treatment of her at her own events was not appropriate in a Republican primary. 2. Overestimation of Perry's appeal. His favorability numbers are very good right now, but over the course of his governorship, he has been neither a particularly popular figure nor a particularly respected one. If his governorship were to end tomorrow, he would have leave a pretty scant legacy. He doesn't have the residual good will to be going on the attack against a politician who has generally been better liked and more respected than he is. The attacks are likely to boomerang. 3. Too much talk about Washington, not enough about Texas. The Perry campaign made the early decision to define the race as Perry being the candidate of Texas and Texas values while labeling Hutchison as the candidate of Washington and Washington values. The strategy has had an impact, but it also sends mixed signals. This is, after all, a governor's race, but Perry's attacks make him sound more like a candidate for the Senate. Ultimately, the race is about Texas, not Washington. At some point Perry is going to have to talk about Texas. The state's relative fiscal strength is his strongest talking point--but what is number two? 4. Poor political judgment leading to negative press coverage. Perry has been hurt by the media coverage of his meddling with three universities: Texas A&M, UT, and Texas Tech. His involvement at A&M, ranging from the forced resignation of president Elsa Murano to advocating the return of Bonfire to campus to questionable management practices involving a $50 million grant to the university, is not the sort of leadership Texans want from a governor. In seeking the resignations of Texas Tech regents because they supported Hutchison, he looked small and vengeful. His lobbying of UT regents on behalf of a candidate for chancellor whom he hoped would look askance on the hiring of liberal professors reinforces the criticism that politics is all that matters to him. These universities have alumni who number in the hundreds of thousands, many of whom are influential in their communities and in the state. They care a lot more about their schools than they do about Rick Perry. 5. Repeating the Claytie Williams mistake. I'm referring to Williams' failure to shake hands with Ann Richards during a campaign encounter. Gender matters in politics. A male candidate cannot treat a female opponent as he would a male rival. Yet, that is exactly what the Perry campaign has done. They have hit her hard and often, and during her campaign kickoff, they invaded her space. They were rude. Yes, this is politics, and yes, politics is hardball. But you can't overreach, and the Perry campaign has overreached. To repeat what I said earlier: She is better liked and more respected than he is. A negative campaign against a woman has to be waged very carefully. This negative campaign has not been careful. A case in point: The Perry campaign has made an issue of Hutchison's impending resignation from the Senate, saying that a special election will cost the state $30 million. But this is true only if the governor calls the special election for a day other than the two standard elections days, in November (which he won't, because Bill White would benefit from a large Houston turnout for the mayor's race), or May. If you think through what the message of this criticism is, it's that Hutchison shouldn't run against me because it will cost the state money. Arrogance.

Rasmussen: Perry 46, Hutchison 36

Jul 16, 2009 By Paul Burka

This represents a net six point gain for Perry over the May poll (Perry +4, Hutchison -2). The spread itself is bad enough for the Hutchison camp, but even worse is that Perry has passed her in favorability ratings. This would have been seen as inconceivable at the time Hutchison…