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.