Research 2000 Poll: White Only Trails Perry by 4 Points, Leads Perry Among Independents

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Excellent results from today's Research 2000 Poll:

Research 2000 Poll

Question: If the election for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Bill White, the Democrat, and Rick Perry, the Republican?

  • All voters:  White 42, Perry 46
  • Independents:  White 45, Perry 42

The poll was taken from Feb 8 – Feb 10, and has a 4% MOE. A total of 600 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone.

White has only been on TV for eleven days, yet is already pulling within Perry — who has been in statewide office for twenty years and still can't clear 50% among his own Party's base. As we move further and further along, we'll have more and more polls to look at — and some numbers will look better than others. The underlying factor of all the polls we've seen so far, however, is that White is extremely competitive with Perry right now and is going to have a strong chance at victory in November.

A Note About the Poll

Research 2000 is a national polling group that performs both national and state-level polls. Their national poll numbers often track closely with those of other national polling firms. DailyKos, the prominent left-leaning political blog, partners with Research 2000 for their polls; however, there is no political bias in their numbers. In fact, a recent poll on the attitudes of Republican voters conducted by Research 2000 was used on Chris Wallace's Sunday morning Fox News program – showing that even those on the right recognize the validity of their numbers.


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. Just pray for a runoff…. and a Medina independent run
    The more voters find out about Bill White the more they like him.  White gets to run a positive campaign about the issues Texans really care about, like education and jobs, and Perry/Hutchison/Medina go deeper and deeper into the mud.

    All three will drive their negatives up, and whatever victory may occur might be a Pyrrhic one, and increasingly looks like it will involve a runoff, which will get even messier.  Both candidates will have to deplete their warchests just to get to the general election, and whoever emerges will already be too tarnished.  Hutchison and Perry are both continuing to point out the rank hypocrisy of the other when it comes to “conservative values”, meaning there will probably be some disenchantment by that base before the general election.

    This means the general can be fought largely on the basis of who appeals to 2 groups: independents and suburban (Republican) women. With Perry the likely victor and both groups upset at Perry over his demagoguery of Hutchison during the primary, White has chance to appeal to them with, again, his consistent message on education and jobs– and throw in some clean energy there for fun.

    There is one troubling aspect of this poll, though: it shows White losing to Perry and Hutchison in Harris County, albeit only by a small margin (and the n on the sample was under 100– BIG margin of error).  That leads to one of two conclusions: the random sample accidentally included too many conservatives from Harris County who never liked White (which I think is more probably ghe case, given his stratospheric approval ratings as Houston Mayor), OR White has a problem in his own backyard, which is worrisome.

    In any case, the longer this election goes, the greater the prospects look for White.  But beware– with Karl Rove helping the Perry campaign, look for the first negative ad to hit before the summer. And with the Citizens United decision, look for it to be not from Perry specifically, but from a shadowy corporate front group– remember the Swiftboaters?  Be prepared.    

    • Helping the Perry campaign?
      Karl Rove is openly supporting Kay Bailey Hutchison. As are all the Bush henchmen. Gotta preserve the dynasty and they means supporting one of the favorite lapdogs. Although several did take rabies shots before agreeing to.

      Karl Rove is not-so-openly pulling the strings behind the curtain of her campaign.  He seems to have lost his touch, by the way, although who knows what may unfold in the next two weeks.  But I doubt it will work.  People are tired of the dynasty. And the lapdogs.  

      • Rove for Hutchison? Then…
        Then I stand corrected.  I thought he was informally advising Perry.  Either way…. this is gonna get uglier before it gets any prettier.

        • Preserving the Bush dynasty…
          The dynasty is falling apart and so Kay Bailey Hutchison serves two purposes as governor. She knocks Rick Perry out of the national spotlight and thereby opens up the spotlight for what some suspect may be a run by Jeb Bush.

          As for the primary, most expect the equivalent of a nuclear bomb being dropped by the Hutchison campaign the week before we all go to the polls. Of course, they're still looking for one. Or trying to manufacture one. They're missing the trigger so to speak. Rick Perry is pretty much immune from attack as the polls indicate among the “core” of the Texas Republican Party.  The delightful 39% that voted for him in 2006.

          Rick Perry doesn't need Karl Rove. He is his own Karl Rove. And he may drop the equivalent of a nuclear bomb himself.

  2. The Polls and 2010
    This is excellent news. With a run off on the Republican side imminent, it could be a party splitting contest. I don't believe for a minute that everyone will rally to the winner.

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