Reality Check, Part III

Public Policy Poling has another poll out today that examines the horse-race in the Statewide elections, the first of its kind from PPP following last month’s primary. In short, the Democrats have a lot of work to do, with huge deficits for Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte, David Alameel and John Cook, among others. Just from a cursory review of the recent pollsters and evaluations, I am prepared to say that, in some ways, 2014 will be a worse year for Texas Democrats than 2010 was, ceteris paribus.

The last time PPP created one of those polls, it put State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic nominee for Governor, 15 points down against Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate (ABBOTT 51, DAVIS 37). In the five months since, a whole lot has happened of consequence. First, there was the whole “Trailergate” thing, then deeper questions about the competence of Davis’ campaign. However, starting about six weeks ago, a funny thing happened. Abbott began stumbling unprovoked, first with the Ted Nugent scandal then with a flareup over Equal Pay. In recent days, the controversy has centered on the fact that Abbott’s education plan not only aims to extend standardized testing to four-year olds, but also relied upon the commentary of a Charles Murray, once cited as a white supremacist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Seriously.

Click here to read more poll results (spoiler: they’re all bad)!

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Pot poll, Part II

The Texas Tribune, in those infamous polls of dubious reliability, has released a new assessment of the popularity of cannabis in this State. The poll was also worded in a rather lame way, with loaded terms that stack the odds against legalization proponents.

Specifically, 17% of those surveyed said they would support “legal, in any amount, for any purpose.” A further 32% supported “legal, in small amounts, for any purpose.” 28% said they would only support medicinal marijuana, with only a mere 23% saying they opposed marijuana in all cases. This result, however, is somewhat misleading for a few reasons. First, there was some individuals who believe in decriminalization for small amounts while still remaining highly skeptical of medicinal cannabis. Second, the 17% noted opposing all relaxation likely inordinately represent those voting in Republican primaries. While it would probably be an oversimplification to say a majority of the GOP primary electorate is unequivocally anti-pot, they are a significant enough block that prospective candidate would not like to alienate them.

Click here to read more!

Emerson: Abbott 49, Davis 42

Emerson College , a rather low profile polling firm, has released a new assessment of the Texas gubernatorial election, the contest between Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Wendy Davis. The poll stands at 49% to Abbott and 42% to Davis, a seven-point lead to the Republican. The poll is the first to be conducted since the primaries, but is not the first to occur since Abbott had his recent flareup with Ted Nugent. That distinction belongs to the Rasmussen Reports poll released last week that had Abbott at 53 and Davis at 41.

The survey consisted of about 500 “likely” voters and had a margin of error of +/-4.4%, give or take. A few interesting points of note: the Emerson poll saw Abbott winning a plurality of female voters, while the opposite was true in the Rasmussen poll; in fact, Davis won a majority of female support. Among other peculiarities was that the poll specifically measured support throughout the different regions of the State. In San Antonio, Davis leads Abbott by a staggering ten points (51D to 41A), whereas Dallas only sees a six point lead (46D to 40A). Houston, however, sees a mere four point edge to the Democrat (47D to 43A). I am going to assume that these numbers reflect the counties those respecting cities occupy (Bexar, Dallas and Harris) until otherwise corrected. If the Democrat only lead by those levels in the city proper, her campaign should truly be scared shiftless (or maybe they should be scared of their own shiftlessness, but I digress).

Click here to read some analysis of this poll!

Civil Affiars: Poll

CIVIL AFFAIRS

As Election Night unfolded, I sat at a watch party glued to my laptop. The first few results rolled in on Tuesday evening, I could not help but be surprised at what I was seeing. Dan Patrick, the ultra-conservative state senator from Houston, was leading incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst 2-to-1 in the primary for that post, flouting both what had been assumed as gospel by the political establishment and reported as fact from a recent Texas Tribune/University of Texas poll.

That same poll showed LaRouche activist (a cabal of conspiracy theorists) Kesha Rogers holding a plurality lead in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate. While she did — somehow — manage her way into a runoff with the establishment candidate, she did so with close to a 20 point deficit to make up, a normally insurmountable task.

Please see THE DAILY TEXAN for the rest of this article!

Rasmussen: Abbott 53, Davis 41

Rasmussen Reports, a reputable nationwide polling house, has released its first poll of the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial Election. The poll asked 500 likely voters on Monday and Tuesday who they would support between now the official Democratic nominee, State Senator Wendy Davis, and Republican nominee, Attorney General Greg Abbott. The poll also asked who the voters trusted more on a slew of issues, including taxes, the economy, government corruption and social issues. The results paint a disastrous picture for the Davis campaign, one that should surely sound some alarm bells in Fort Worth if they are still serious about winning.

In addition to the aforementioned totals in this race (Abbott 53, Davis 41), one more percent selected some other candidate with a mere 5% still undecided. When divided by gender, Abbott leads men by a huge margin (66 to 29) while Davis actually leads among women (53 to 41). I’m not sure what the breakdown by race, ethnicity, geography or age is yet. Additionally, when the poll asked voters who they trusted more on taxes, economical issues, government corruption and social issues, Abbott was the clear favorite for all the choices. Admittedly, Davis did a little bit better on the social issues question, but was still trailing.

Click here to read more, including Rasmussen’s record!

2014’s first big poll

The Texas Tribune reports on a very comprehensive poll they conducted over just about every competitive primary in the State. The poll has a fairly substantial margin of error (upwards of 6% in the Democratic primary, specifically), so that is something to bear in mind when analyzing the results.

Simply put, the results paint a bad picture for the Democrats. Back at that time, Greg Abbott lead Wendy Davis by only five points; today, Abbott’s lead has grown to Eleven points. Other polls paint a similarly bleak picture for the Democrats, especially considering that these Texas Tribune polls have historically been overly generous to the Democratic candidate. Just a few days after that original Tribune poll, Public Policy Polling (a historically very accurate pollster) estimated Abbott’s lead at a whopping fifteen points. Accordingly, I am eager to see just how bad off the Democrats are doing when PPP releases its triannual February poll any day now.

Also of note here is that these polls were largely conducted before the Ted Nugent scandal really blew over regarding Greg Abbott’s campaign. Therefore, one could plausibly assert that this poll overvalues Davis’ problems emanating from “Trailergate” while simultaneously not taking to account Abbott’s recent woes. Among other issues with this poll was a misleading discrepancy between “registered” and “likely” voters. Additionally, the polls completely disregarded the portion of the electorate still undecided. I have recreated these polls with the undecideds built into the poll, as well as only taking note of the “registered” voters.

Click here for full results and graph!

Senate runoff election?

Texpatriate has learned that Gravis Marketing commissioned a telephone poll 729 likely Republican primary voters and found a shocking result: Senator John Cornyn could be heading into a primary runoff against Rep. Steve Stockman, his most high-profile opponent. Senator Cornyn, the Senate Minority Whip (2nd highest ranking Republican), is seeking a third term in the upper chamber and has been challenged by a whole slew of candidates for allegedly being insufficiently conservative.

Specifically, Rep. Stockman has challenged Sen. Cornyn’s recent tepidness towards the idea of “Open Carry,” that is allowing otherwise capable CHL holders to furnish their handguns in plain sight. He has also been criticized for allegedly betraying the values of Texas’ other Senator, Ted Cruz. Particularly in the case of October’s government shutdown and this month’s kerfuffle over the debt ceiling, Sen. Cornyn was one of the Republicans who took the high road and vowed not to let the United States default on its debt. This made the hard-right (read: Rep. Stockman) livid, and fostered an odd primary, to say the least. Most people have assumed that Sen. Cornyn would be safe, but a new poll casts doubts on such predictions.

Click here to see the Poll Results!