While Republican primary voters support their governor, more Texans are looking forward to voting against Rick Perry in the 2014 election than for him, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (PDF).
Only 26 percent of registered voters surveyed are planning to vote for Perry, while 36 percent will vote against him. Of the remaining 38 percent, 33 percent will “wait and see” and 5 percent “don’t know.”
Perry currently leads Texas attorney general Greg Abbott in a potential primary challenge 27-14, with 28 percent not expressing an opinion.
“You can rule out the idea that Perry is just dead,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the UT/TT Poll and a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “You can’t reach that conclusion. But you also can’t say he’s just unbeatable, relative to Abbott.”
Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history. If he decides to run in 2014, he’ll be seeking his fifth term as the Lone Star State’s chief executive.
In 2012, Perry led Texas Republicans in cutting $73 million from its family-planning budget to punish the state’s Planned Parenthood for performing abortions, though the organization performs no — zero — abortions. That move will reportedly cost Texas taxpayers $273 million.
Perry’s flop as a candidate for the Republican nomination for president — going from frontrunner to fifth place in the Iowa Caucus in a matter of weeks — also seems to have damaged his brand.
Also notable in the poll is that controversial new Texas senator Ted Cruz’s approval rating is currently 39/28. That’s better than fellow senator John Cornyn’s 32/28, which may help explain why Cornyn seems to be rubber-stamping nearly any vote Cruz takes.
President Obama’s favorable rating in Texas is actually higher than Cruz’s at 40 percent, but his unfavorable rating is 54 percent.
Texas is still extremely conservative when it comes to most issues, but its exploding Latino population gives some Democrats hope that the state could swing blue as soon as 2016.
Rick Perry has called this “the biggest pipedream I have ever heard.”
One encouraging sign for Democrats could be the state’s conflicted view of the Tea Party.
When asked if the Tea Party had a proper amount of influence in the state, 31 percent said they had too much influence compared to 28 percent that said too little, with 18 percent saying their influence is just right.
If the Tea Party were to break off and form a third party, the Democratic Party — with 30 percent of the vote — would be larger than the GOP (17 percent) and the Tea Party (20 percent).
The 20 percent of Texans who identify more with the Tea Party than the Republican Party seems to closely match the 18 percent of the state that has a very favorable view of Rick Perry.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com