Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So, where are we in the TEXAS 2010 Governor's Race? What does the Rasmussen Report say? Read on....

Election 2010: Texas Governor
2010 Texas Governor: White (D) Trails Perry, Hutchison

Texas Democrats cheered the news when Houston’s popular ex-mayor Bill White joined the race for governor, but in the first Rasmussen Reports general election survey in the state this year, he trails his two chief Republican opponents by double-digit margins.

Incumbent GOP Governor Rick Perry leads White 50% to 40% among likely Texas voters. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, given that match-up, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who runs second to Perry among GOP Primary voters, runs better against White than the incumbent. Hutchison leads the Democrat by 15 points, 52% to 37%. Four percent (4%) like another candidate, and eight percent (8%) aren’t sure whom they’ll vote for.

Perry holds a 10-point lead over Hutchison among likely GOP Primary voters, 43% to 33%.

Tea party activist Debra Medina now earns 12% of the Republican vote, up from four percent (4%) in November.

Her improved showing in the latest Rasmussen Reports polling prompted the sponsors of a January 29 GOP gubernatorial debate to invite Medina to participate. The Texas Republican Primary is on March 2.

But Medina loses to White in a one-on-one general election match-up. The Democrat posts a six-point lead over Medina, 44% to 38%. Five percent (5%) opt for another candidate, and 13% are undecided.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Like other Democrats around the country, White appears to be suffering from his party’s championing of the unpopular national health care plan.

In Texas, 39% favor the plan, while 57% oppose it, numbers comparable to national findings. The passion as is generally the case is on the side of the opponents, too: 50% of Texas voters Strongly Oppose the plan versus 20% who Strongly Favor it.

The disproportionate split between those who feel strongly about the issue benefits the top two Republicans. Both Perry and Hutchison carry roughly 80% of the vote of the larger group that strongly opposes the health care plan, while White gets similar support from those who strongly favor it. Medina doesn’t benefit as much, in part because of the large number of voters who remain undecided about her.

Perry carries male voters by 26 points against White but trails by five among women. Hutchison carries both groups against the former mayor by double digits. Medina breaks even among male voters but loses women to White by 11.

Voters not affiliated with either major party prefer the Republican in all three match-ups but like Hutchison best.

Most voters in the state (52%) still say Hutchison should remain in the Senate while running for governor, but that’s down five points from November. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree and say she should not stay in the Senate, and 21% are not sure.

Nineteen percent (19%) of Texas voters have a very favorable opinion of Perry, while 21% view the current governor very unfavorably. Hutchison is seen very favorably by 18% and very unfavorably by eight percent (8%). For Medina, very favorables total 10% and very unfavorables 12%.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of voters have a very favorable view of White, but 17% regard him very unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Nine percent (9%) of Texas voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, but 42% say it’s poor. Thirty-four percent (34%) think the economy is getting better, while 35% say it’s getting worse. Twenty-four percent (24%) believe it is staying the same.

In Texas, which experienced its own terrorist incident with the Fort Hood massacre in November, 67% say it is likely there will be another terrorist attack within the next year.

Thirty-six percent (36%) say the United States is safer today than it was before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but 42% disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) say the Nigerian Muslim who attempted to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day should be tried by the military for a terrorist act rather than by civilian authorities for a criminal act. Twenty percent (20%) disagree and think it’s a matter for the civilian authorities.

Texas voters also think Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood should be treated as a terrorist act and that, if convicted, he should receive the death penalty.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of Texas voters say the government response to the Christmas Day airliner incident was good or excellent. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the response was poor.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) now favor the use of full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints. Just 14% are opposed.

Barack Obama lost Texas to Republican John McCain in November 2008, carrying only 44% of the vote. Forty-four percent (44%) of Texas voters now approve of the president’s job performance, including 29% who strongly approve. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove of how Obama is doing his job, with 46% who strongly disapprove. This is a slightly higher level of disapproval than is found nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Lone Star State voters approve of Perry’s performance as governor, down 10 points from November. Of that number, 16% strongly approve. Forty-six percent (46%) don’t like his handling of the job, including 23% who strongly disapprove.

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