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.
The potential Green Party drain of votes away from the Democrats is probably pretty small.
Bill White’s problem is an “everywhere else” problem, which is only partly rural in nature.
At this point, anti-incumbent sentiment in Texas appears to be dwarfed by party identification and opposition to the national Democratic Party.
The governor's political radar is characteristically fine-tuned here, at least for the short term.
What do Texans think about the fiscal and economic model for the rest of the country? Do they agree with Gov. Rick Perry that the Texas way is the better way?