State Sen. Ken Paxton‘s campaign is touting a double-digit lead over his Democratic opponent in the race for Texas attorney general, citing a poll commissioned for his campaign and released Tuesday.
The poll was performed by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, a Republican polling firm with locations in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City and Austin. The poll surveyed 1,003 likely general election voters Aug. 24-26, 2014. They were asked: “If the general election for Texas Attorney General were held today, for whom would you vote for if the candidates were?”
Crosstabs provided to the Chronicle by Paxton spokesman Anthony Holm showed 52 percent chose his client and 28 percent chose Paxton’s Democratic opponent, lawyer Sam Houston, with 17 percent undecided. Paxton fared far better among conservatives, garnering the support of 75 percent of those polled.
Of those surveyed, 54 percent self-identified as conservative and 31 percent as independent. “Liberal” was not parsed out in the provided crosstabs. The margin of error was +/- 3.1 percent.
The polling memo, such as it is, is embedded in the linked post or available here. I’ll note that WPOA did a fairly decent 2012 Presidential poll, so they’re not complete hacks over there, but that just makes this result that much more ridiculous. The same poll also claims Abbott is leading Davis by 18. Note that they give zero information about question wording or overall composition of their population, and provide very little about how subsamples responded. The one bit of subgroup data they provide is the laughable claim that Paxton is leading with Hispanic voters 50-29. Putting aside how completely out of character that would be, consider that if the rest of his sample is 69% Anglo and 10% black, and assuming he gets 5% of the black vote, he’s be collecting only about 59% of the Anglo vote to land at 52% total. With this configuration, if Paxton were actually at 40% Hispanic support, he’d be in danger of losing. Do you think Ken Paxton is counting on 40% support among Hispanic voters for his win total? I don’t. Trying to distract from Sam Houston’s call for a debate? That I can believe.