Bill White, Rick Perry Tied 43-43 in PPP Poll; Rick Chicken Perry Loses Independents

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New numbers from PPP in the Governor's race confirm what many of us have been feeling for months: it's neck and neck. Their numbers show Bill White currently tied 43-43 with failed incumbent Rick Perry, whose negatives continue to climb. White, meanwhile, has reversed Perry's 11-point lead with independents to currently lead 42-36 among the group. From Public Policy Polling:

Texas would seem an unlikely candidate to provide Democrats their biggest win of the election cycle but the Governor's race there is a reminder that candidates matter. Perry is an unusually weak incumbent, while White is an unusually strong challenger. Only 36% of voters in the state like the job Perry is doing while 49% disapprove. Among independents the numbers are particularly bad- just 27% give Perry good marks to 55% who think he's doing a poor job. White meanwhile is better known and better liked than most challengers running across the country this year. 37% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 25% with an unfavorable one and he posts positive numbers with independents at a 35/24 spread.

Some interesting numbers in the cross-tabs:

  • Bill White leads among women, 46%-38%, with 16% undecided.
  • White leads or ties amongst all age groups under 65, and runs strongest amongst voters under 29.
  • White posts a commanding 34-point lead amongst Hispanic voters. Increasing Hispanic turnout over traditional midterm levels will be key to his victory in November.
  • Of the respondents who described themselves as “Conservative,” 24% disapprove of Rick Perry.
  • Only 8% of self-described Democrats view White negatively; 26% of Republicans disapprove of Rick Perry.

The poll also included some interesting numbers on Rick Perry's Presidential ambitions:

  • Only 10% of Texas voters want to see Rick Perry run for President in 2012.
  • 69% specifically do NOT want him to make the jump. That includes 61% of Republicans and 59% of self-described conservatives.

See, Texans love America after all. We learned our lesson with that Bush guy. It's interesting. Yesterday, @ppppolls tweeted that their new numbers in a race only polled by Republican-leaning Rasmussen might change the conventional wisdom a lot. With their new numbers in the Perry-White match-up, one could assume that PPP may well have been referring to Texas. But for those of us on the ground here in Texas, who are living the failed policies of 10 years of Rick Perry, it's no surprise: Texans are ready for a new governor.

Update by Phillip: Updated the public poll average. Two things to note:

  • Average won't change much with a tie. At some point, I'll probably drop off some of the earlier, pre-primary polls, but for now I want to stick with averaging all 13 polls that have come out.
  • Look at the last four polls: Perry's lead has gone from 13, to 9, to 8, to tied.

Here's the chart:

Texas Governor's Race: Public Polls
Date Pollster Rick Perry
Bill White
Jan. 17 Rasmussen 50
4 6
Feb. 1 Rasmussen 48 39
5 8
Feb. 7 TX Tribune


8 12
Feb. 7 PPP 48
 – 10
Feb. 10 TX Newspapers
37 13
Feb. 10 Research 2000 46
Feb. 22 Rasmussen 47
5 7
Mar. 3 Rasmussen 49
43 3 6
Apr. 14 Rasmussen 48
2 6
May 13 Rasmussen 51
4 6
May 20 TX Tribune 44
7 5
June 18 Rasmussen 48
5 8
June 22 PPP 43
43 14
47% 40%

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. justathought on

    Just to put this out there:
    PPP has a long history of democratic leaning poll results, and these are the same people who put kay bay 25 points ahead of perry…

      • justathought on

        That still does not cover the fact that their polls have a long history of democratic leaning bias. I'm surprised they didn't throw in another bullshit question like “Do you think Barack Obama is the antichrist?” As a polling organization their credibility is shaky at best.

    • Research before you Talk
      FiveThirtyEight has PPP with pollster induced error rating of +1.69 while it gives Rasmussen a rating of +1.74 which makes the two basically the same quality (PPP is slightly better).

      Also, the last PPP poll in February had Perry beating Hutchison by 9% so that 25% points for Hutchison is pretty much a worthless comment.

  2. RCP Style Average
    An RCP style average would look more like this.

    PPP: White 43 – Perry 43

    Rasmussen: White 40 – Perry 48

    UT-Austin: White 35 – Perry 44

    Research 2000: White 42 – Perry 46

    Blum & Weprin: White 37 – Perry 43

    AVERAGE: White 39.4 – Perry 44.8 (Perry +5.4%)

  3. My goodness.
    Public Policy Polling is in bed with Democrats, just like this blog is.

    There are more Republicans in Texas than there are Democrats. Most will not publicly praise Rick Perry (he's a 10 year incumbent, after all) but in the privacy of a voting booth, they will look at the (R) and look at the (D) and suck it up and stick with the (R).

    Book it.  

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