In a poll of potential voters, how should we go about determining what the electorate might look like on Election Day?
Lame duck or not, Rick Perry is still the Republican governor of a strongly Republican state. In Texas, he controls the levers of government, muzzles the news media and has no meaningful political opposition.
The underlying fundamentals that buttressed Gov. Rick Perry's political power in the state are not much changed, and they suggest that the governor will reassert his powerful presence in Texas politics now that he is back.
Which groups in Texas believe most strongly that their members of Congress don't represent people "like them"? Liberal and moderate whites.
No campaign postmortem will be complete without noting the huge role played by Barack Obama in the 2010 governor's race.
So how to create a likely voter model? Campaign pollsters typically use a combination of past voting history — available off the registered voter list — and current interest and engagement. Those who have voted in the past, as well as those who are jazzed about voting this year, tend to get into the likely electorate.
Is the anti-career-politician, pro-outsider-businessman mood palpable in Texas? Yes. Is this preference for private-sector experience related to vote choice in the governor’s race? No.
Six points separate Rick Perry and Bill White, but that's not all there is to it: The pattern of partisan preferences evident in the latest polling suggests that the Republican Party still holds a substantial baseline advantage over the Democrats in Texas.
Make no mistake: A Democrat running in a statewide race in Texas who is not losing by double-digits is doing relatively well. But this raises the larger question: Can Bill White actually win?
Bill White deciding to travel to points far from Austin and Dallas while President Barack Obama visits the state today to raise money and speak at the University of Texas presents us with yet another mountain-out-of-a-molehill political story in the long, hot summer of gassy coverage of the governor’s race. A look at Obama’s standing in Texas makes it clear that White would be nuts to share a stage with Obama unless he feels like doing a favor for Gov. Rick Perry’s ad team.