Reading the polling tea leaves
Hill Research Consultants, commissioned by Texas Watch.
600 respondents, 8/25-8/29
Poll "intentionally allowed respondents to express uncertainty." It also followed a question about current residence and a right direction/wrong track question with the ballot test question. That gets people thinking about their current circumstances and probably using the partisan brain less than it would be at the ballot box. It also finds party ID at only +4 Republicans, which seems a bit low for Texas in 2010. Moreover, it had Perry winning independents at +4. It's pretty hard to see how Bill White wins if Perry is winning independents.
As Kevin Whited said, if Hill were really trying to do a predictive snapshot of the race, you would think that "he would have designed a much different poll."
As I've said repeatedly on here for the last few years, Zogby is the reputable pollster I trust the least. I don't like mentioning polls I can't see crosstabs on, and I can't find them anywhere, including Zogby's site.
The Back to Basics ad calling Perry a coward for not debating ran on 8/24.
In short: underdog candidates love to see polls released showing the race tightening, and that's no exception here, so that's good for Bill White. But I don't yet see anything that makes me terribly uncomfortable taking the over on +7 Perry.
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