New Rasmussen poll numbers
It's the first poll I've seen that tested the new four-way race. They tested Chris Bell as the Democratic nominee, and plan to test Bob Gammage next week. At this stage in the game, the numbers should be similar for either candidate the Democrats nominate.
Governor:Both polls are of 500 likely voters, +/- 4.5% MoE.
Rick Perry 40%
Chris Bell 14%
Kay Bailey Hutchison 64%
Barbara Ann Radnosky 25%
Not Sure 6%
They don't provide any crosstabs for free, so it's hard to dissect the poll to make sure the poll is accurate or to draw precise conclusions. Instead, we have to rely on the fact that Rasmussen has a reasonably good track record. The screen they used for likely voters could matter if voter interest in the race is high (which is possible). So let's view this poll as a general fuzzy indicator of where the race stands at this point.
1. The numbers are generally believable, and more or less comports with my analysis.The Senate numbers are no surprise. Hutchison is like George W. Bush: she's simply too popular to be beaten in a Texas general election. She wins at least a few points more in a general election now than even W would.
2. About 15% remains unaccounted for/undecided in the governor numbers, and thus still up for grabs.
3. Strayhorn appears to be winning at least a few points from Democrats, Republicans, and swing voters. That's not too surprising. She also may benefit a few points from the fact that the poll was done immediately after she announced her run as an independent.
4. Friedman is taking most of his support from the Democratic nominee, and shows that Strayhorn's decision hurts him the most.
5. A four way race is very fluid. In a race like this, there will be people who switch close to election day from one candidate to another because the other candidate has a better chance to win.
6. I think the Democratic nominee is very likely to garner more than 14% on election day, unless Democrats decide en masse that they'd prefer Strayhorn to Perry (I think this is still an open question, though unlikely).
7. This race is fascinating. Because it's so fluid, there are so many ways the race could play out, which makes prognostication an exponentially more difficult task than normal.
Both the earlier Wall Street/Reuters poll and the recent Rasmuessen poll have polled only "likely voters", which consists primarly of the 29 percent of eligible voters who actually voted in the 2000 Gubernatorial election. Most of KInky Friedman's base is not part of the 29 percent of eligible voting Texans. So, for the 21 percent at Wall Street and the 12 percent at Rausmens with around 15 percent undecided, this is a positive showing for Kinky. Look out, despite Carole's independent run, the Kinky effect could have major implications and his numbers could look much better than what is seen in the last two Texas Gubernatorial polls.
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