Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poll: Texas Republicans prefer Sarah Palin for president

Texas Republicans prefer Sarah Palin over any of her mostly likely GOP rivals for president in 2012, according to a new survey of voters in the Lone Star State by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune:
Eighteen months before the 2012 presidential primary in Texas, 46 percent say they'll vote on the Republican side, 31 percent will vote on the Democratic side; 18 percent aren't sure, and 5 percent say they'll skip the major party primaries.

The 2012 presidential hopefuls haven't declared at this point. But in a hypothetical matchup, Democrats in that bunch would choose Obama over his former rival and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 61 percent to 32 percent.

On the Republican side, more candidate names are in the speculative hat and voters sort them this way: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 20 percent; former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 15 percent; former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, tied at 13 percent; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 8 percent; Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 7 percent; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 3 percent; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, 2 percent; and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 1 percent.
19 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

University of Texas government professors Daron Shaw and James Henson conducted the survey of 800 registered voters over a five-day period beginning Friday, September 3. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent. The poll's other findings indicate that a majority of Texas voters are decidedly not pleased with the job the president is doing:
Obama's job ratings are dismal here. Half of the state's voters disapprove strongly of Obama's performance and another 8 percent disapprove "somewhat." About a third approve of the job he's doing (13 percent strongly), 7 percent are neutral and only 1 percent register no opinion.


Obama's low ratings are shared by his fellow Democrats in Washington, according to the poll.
According to the survey, Texas voters rank the Tea Party movement higher than either of the two major political parties:
Given a list of names and institutions to rank on a 100-point scale, Texans are stingy with good grades: Only the Tea Party, at 52, made it past the halfway mark. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White got 50. Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican Party both had mean rankings of 49 and the Republicans in Congress got a 47. From there the numbers drop significantly: Obama rated 42 on that "feeling thermometer," the Democratic Party got a 40, and Democrats in Congress got a 38.

To underline a point made in other poll answers, Texans are not happy with Washington and blame the Democrats, who are in charge there, for the trouble. Only 26 percent think the country is on the right track (43 percent say the state's on the right track), and 54 percent say the country is economically worse off than it was a year ago (compared with 42 percent who say that about the state economy). But so far, they're not attaching that to Texas pols like Perry and White.
A full summary of the poll results in PDF format can be viewed here, and a PDF of the crosstabs is here.

h/t: roy y

- JP

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