I remain unconvinced that Greg Abbott is a sure thing to be the GOP nominee for Governor next year.
Only 25 percent of Texas voters — Republicans and Democrats — are ready to give Perry another term, saying they would vote for him if he seeks re-election in 2014. Nearly two in five — 38 percent — said they would vote against him, and 31 percent said they would wait and see who is running against him.
But Perry is far ahead of his likeliest challenger with Republican voters in the poll. In a fantasy match against Abbott, who has been preparing for a gubernatorial bid while he and everyone else waits for Perry to announce his own plan, the governor got 45 percent to Abbott’s 19 percent in the poll. Another 11 percent said they would choose someone else, and 25 percent said they haven’t given it enough thought to form an opinion. Those numbers haven’t changed much since the February UT/TT Poll, which found Perry with 49 percent to Abbott’s 17 percent.
Most Republicans in the poll think Texas is on the right track, and that group overwhelmingly chose Perry over Abbott. The attorney general did better with those who think the state is going in the wrong direction, but still favored Perry over Abbott. That last group, however, was as likely to choose “someone else” as they were to choose the governor.
Henson said Perry’s pre-2014 standing is much different from his pre-2010 standing and his position going into the presidential bid two years ago. Then, there were few ready or willing to challenge his pre-eminence in the Texas GOP.
“As we go into the 2014 cycle, you have both the track record of the presidential run, which is clearly negative, and you’ve got Ted Cruz very much on the stage and as a viable figurehead for the party, and you’ve got Greg Abbott waiting in the wings,” Henson said.
I say if Perry runs it’s still his to lose. By the same token, he’d be easier for a Democrat to beat than Abbott would be, if there are any Dems out there to run. No guarantees in this world, of course, and who knows what might happen if Abbott decides to dump ten million bucks or so trashing Perry. For sure, the potential is great for many Republican operatives and consultants and vendors to get very, very rich. But beyond that, who knows. Downballot, David Dewhurst leads his competitors for Lite Guv, but everyone trails “Don’t Know”, which got 61%, by a huge margin. So expect a lot of money to be spent in that race, too. Texpatriate has more.