Poll: Rick Perry leads Wendy Davis by 14 in Texas -- and by six among women

The pollster is left-leaning PPP, so consider this an admission against interest. Or, if you prefer, a friendly warning to comrades on the left that dumping millions on a futile Davis gubernatorial bid isn’t the best use of their money during a midterm year.

39% of Texans have a favorable opinion of Davis to 29% with a negative one after her week in the spotlight. Her net favorability is up 14 points from -14 at 15/19 in January. By a 45/40 margin voters say they support her filibuster last week, and by a narrow 44/43 margin they don’t think Perry should call another special session. Voters oppose Senate Bill 5 by an 8 point margin, 28/20, although the 52% with no opinion is a reality check on how closely most people follow state politics.

Nevertheless Davis would trail Rick Perry by 14 points in a hypothetical match up, 53/39. While Davis’ standing has improved over the last five months so has Perry’s. Although he remains unpopular, with 45% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove, his approval is up a net 8 points from January when he was at a -13 spread (41/54). In addition to his lead over Davis, Perry also leads Julian Castro 50/43, Bill White 50/40, and Annise Parker 52/35. In January he led this quartet of Democrats by an average of 4 points, now he leads them by an average of 12…

Texas may trend Democratic eventually but for now this little factoid sums up the state pretty well- Wendy Davis has a +10 favorability, Rick Perry has a -5 approval, and he still leads her by 14 anyway.

Fully 60 percent of Texans say they’d prefer that Perry not run for re-election versus 30 percent who say otherwise, but a longtime Republican incumbent in a very red state is hard to beat even when the public’s fatigued with him. How hard? Among women in Texas, Perry’s net job approval is at -9 while Davis’s favorable rating is +16. And yet:


The X factor for Davis is San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who keynoted the Democratic convention last year. He trails Perry by just seven points head to head due to the fact that he fares far better than Davis does among men. They’re nearly identical among women against Perry, but Perry’s lead over Castro among men is just nine points versus 25 points(!) over Davis. If that number doesn’t move much, she’d need a 30-point swing among women to be competitive. Castro’s obviously the better choice, especially since Democrats are eager for Latino candidates who might inspire more Latinos to register to vote, but he won’t be 39 until this September and Texas is still an uphill battle for a Dem. Maybe he figures he’ll wait four years to give the demographics more time to shift and let Davis take her best shot against Perry the incumbent. If everything breaks right for him, he’ll be facing a new Republican nominee in 2018 with many more Latino Democrats on the rolls.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s the biggest media softball interview yet with the left’s new hero. Not only are the sneakers discussed at length, the interviewer actually holds one of them up. When you’re in the presence of Jesus, I guess you need to seize the chance to touch the hem of his robe. The interviewer, incidentally, is ABC’s Jeff Zeleny, formerly of the New York Times White House beat, where he once famously asked a newly elected Barack Obama how enchanting he found the presidency so far. They picked the right guy for this assignment. Click the image to watch.