New Rasmussen Poll: Perry 51%, White 38%

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Rasmussen has released their latest numbers, which show White losing ground compared to Rasmussen's previous polls. From the Texas Tribune

The results are as follows: Perry has 51 percent, White has 38 percent, “some other candidate” has 4 percent, and 6 percent are “not sure.”

This is White's poorest showing to date.  The previous Rasmussen poll had him trailing Perry within the margin of error, 44 to 48.

A thirteen-point spread following a four-point spread is strange, so I looked at some of the cross-tabs. Lots of strange numbers, once you break down into the age groups. For example:

  • Does anyone believe Perry wins 20% of the African-American vote? White polled at 75% and 76% among each group, yet Perry jumped from 11% to 20% in the latest poll, capturing almost all the “undecideds.”
  • Among those making $20k to $40k a year, White went from winning 59-35% in April to only winning 50-46% in May
  • Among those aged 40-49, White went from winning 55-38% in April to losing 51-31% in May.

The shift for any of those numbers — including the entire shift of the poll as a whole — could be explained by a change in the sampling size for any number of age, ethnicity, or party groups. Unfortunately, Rasmussen does not publish the sample size of their sub-groups, making all of this little more than a guessing game when it comes to explaining why there was such a dramatic shift. Though, that won't keep some from trying.

One thing stands out to me from this poll — we have to do more work educating our friends and neighbors about why Bill White is a better choice than Rick Perry. Four more years of Perry is simply unacceptable. Democrats could take an outlier poll like this one, and become disgruntled and discouraged. It's an entirely plausible outcome, and one that I'm sure many Democrats who have been all-too-eager to criticize Bill White will embrace with enthusiasm.

I, on the other hand, plan to re-double my efforts. I hope you will, too.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. TexianPolitico on

    Rasmussen had a pretty good track record on races in 2008 and 2009, right? I think Rasmussen and Nate Silver are seen as being on opposite sides politically, but their polls and analysis are usually pretty solid. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.

    • Actually…
      Rasmussen has questionable poll questions and sample techniques. Democrats consistently poll weaker on Rasmussen, and Nate Silver does not actually release any polls. FiveThirtyEight simply analyzes the polls.

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