The new UT/Texas Tribune poll shows Perry back at his old number of support.
Only 39% of Texas voters are likely to support Perry if he runs for re-election in 2014. In 2006, Perry received this exact percentage of the vote in his re-election campaign. He was roundly and righteously mocked.
It is no longer a question whether Perry's presidential run has hurt his prospects for continuing his career in Texas. Nonetheless, it feels a bit surprising to see Perry earning the theoretical support of this many Texans for a fourth term. The sight of Perry's cockiness while talking about his chances in 2014 is unnerving, though expected.
Here are some factors to consider that shed light on the 2014 race. Republicans, who don't know the other candidates in the 2014 race yet, are of course likely to say they'll support the Republican governor. Republican voters in Texas are also older, the remnants of a former generation. They are less likely to support change in Texas because they are more likely be stuck in their thinking habits. Perry's support is also weak: 21 percent said they would be “very likely” to support another term for the governor, while 42 percent said they would be “very unlikely.”
The good news is also linear: these old Perry supporters won't be around for much longer. When the block of Texas Republican rigidity “dies out” in the next twenty years, it will be easier for Democrats to unseat awful statewide politicians like Rick Perry and replace them with progressive representatives who will actually work on behalf of Texans.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.