New Rasmussen numbers; good for Strayhorn, Gammage

500 Likely voters; MoE 4.5%, pollster Scott Rasmussen; conducted February 6th.

Rick Perry 40%
Carole Strayhorn 31%
Chris Bell 13%
Kinky Friedman 9%

Rick Perry 38%
Carole Strayhorn 29%
Bob Gammage 18%
Kinky Friedman 8%

Perry 53%/45% Favorable/Unfavorable
Strayhorn 55%/31% Favorable/Unfavorable

Rasmussen's last poll was in early Jan, when he had the numbers as Perry 40%, Strayhorn 21%, Bell 14%, and Friedman 12%.

I wrote this back then, and I think it still applies generally:

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.

My guess is that Strayhorn probably has softer support than Perry, but the numbers are certainly good news for Comptroller Strayhorn. Perry's re-election seems very likely right now, unless one candidate emerges as the de facto anti-Perry candidate. The difference between this Rasmussen poll and his poll last month is basically just that Strayhorn picked up about 10 points, almost half of which was from Friedman or the Democrat. There are only 7% undecided in this poll though, so the law of diminishing returns suggests that Strayhorn may have a much tougher time going from 30% to 40% than she did (if Rasmussen is accurate) going from 20% to 30%.

Can Strayhorn win enough Democrats to beat Perry? I'm on record as being skeptical of the idea, because I think the Democratic line will still likely be worth a good chunk of Democrats, no matter who the candidate is.

It's also good news for Bob Gammage. Who would have guessed that he'd be polling 5% above Bell in a general election matchup? Do these numbers augur a primary lead for Gammage? It's surprising to me that Gammage could be running 40% stronger than Bell (and remember the margin of error), but who knows?

But, once we have a Democratic nominee in less than three weeks, I think it's clear that the Democratic nominee has to be very wary of Strayhorn. It's unlikely that a Democrat can win any of Perry's current 40%, and there are only 7% undecided in Rasmussen's poll. So the Democratic nominee will have to train his sights on Strayhorn to have a chance to win, assuming Strayhorn is at 30% right now.

And Strayhorn? At some point does she tack more to the left to try to make sure Democrats don't vote for a Democrat?

Perry's campaign, I'm guessing, is already polling the intensity of Strayhorn's support, and the issues which can peel off a few percent here and there.

The poll seems to confirm that idea that Friedman has been hurt most of all by Strayhorn's entry into the race.

Four way races are fascinating! There's lots more that could written (and what's written could use some editing), but I have a paper due tomorrow.

QUICK UPDATE: I saw a few of the questions on Harvey's site from the poll. Rasmussen identified Friedman as "independent Richard Friedman." That's very likely to have understated Friedman's support. To date, I don't know of any journalist that has noticed this. Moreover, so far as I can tell, Friedman's campaign isn't screaming at the top of their lungs about it. If I were the Kinky campaign, I would have a press release out to every journo in the state.

I wrote about a similar issue quite a bit at DeLay vs World not too long ago. These sorts of things really annoy me. If I get a chance, you can expect to hear more about this from me tomorrow.

UPDATE 2: This assumes, of course, that Friedman will be on the ballot as "Kinky Friedman." He may not be by law; I assume he'd be on the ballot as Kinky if he chose. I'll look into this when I get a chance.

Posted by Evan @ 02/14/06 04:30 PM


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The methodology of this poll is crazy. According to Rassmussen, Bell, Gammage and Kinky all have hard name ID at aboout 70%. Impossible. Even Bob Bullock never had that high hard name ID after running four statewide campaigns and spending millions of dollars and getting millions of dollars of earned media.

Why doesn't Rasmussen provide an option for the respondents to say they have "no opinion" or "never heard of" the candidate.

Posted by Bob @ 02/15/06 10:58 AM

500 likely voters. The margin of error is huge, so the difference between Bell's and Gammage's performance is not significant.

Throw in the misidentification of Kinky Friedman in the question, and this poll looks close to worthless.

Posted by P.M.Bryant @ 02/15/06 02:15 PM

It's my understanding that Kinky has to be on the ballot as "Richard". His legal name. Otherwise, we'd see a lot of "John 'Sam Houston' Doe's on the ballot. If anyone could use whatever nickname they chose, it would be a free-for-all.

So far as the poll goes, the MOE is 4.5% that's what the MOE notation is for.... It's the trends that are interesting, not the raw numbers, but they are definitely worth noting.

Posted by RedStateDem @ 02/16/06 03:50 PM

Well, if Willie gives enough to get Kinky air-time, he'll teach folks that Richard=Kinky.

The problem with polls and Kinky's campaign is this: the polls tend to track "likely voters."

Than means people who have a track-record of voting. (When they poll you, they ask if you voted last time, if you're currently registered, etc...)

The Friedman campaign is counting on unlikely voters. If Kinky gets 10% support among those labled "likely voters" and gets, say one-third of the "unlikely voters" to turn out, he wins.

If not, he looses.

Posted by John @ 03/02/06 11:27 AM

your doing good rick

Posted by jordan whitt @ 10/31/06 03:26 PM

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