Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Poll: Hutchison Leads 56-31

A North Carolina-based Democratic pollster has found that Kay Bailey Hutchison is leading Rick Perry 56 percent to 31 percent among likely Republican primary voters.

The last polling numbers we had, taken in December, were Hutchison at 55 and Perry at 31.

From the Statesman:
“If the Republican primary were held today, Rick Perry’s tenure… would be coming to an end,” Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling said online today. Its survey suggests Perry trails Hutchison 56-31 percent among likely GOP primary voters.

The group polled 797 likely Republican primary voters from February 18-20. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.5%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

Hutchison is viewed favorably by 75 percent of voters likely to vote in the Republican primary, while 60 percent have a positive opinion of Perry.

“Rick Perry is in grave danger of losing in the primary,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, with the big reason being Hutchison’s greater popularity.

“It would be hard for anyone to beat her in an election,” Debnam said.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Predict the New Poll

A new poll will be released Tuesday. Tell us your predictions.

Here's mine:

Hutchison 51
Perry 35

Maybe I shouldn't describe it as a "prediction." More like a wild guess.

I expect Hutchison may have lost a little support due to her position on the bailouts but I still her above 50 percent. Perry has made mistakes recently (no doubt) but for whatever reason they don't seem to be sticking.

So, tell us, what do you think the latest poll will show?

Former Perry Staffer Joins Hutchison Campaign

Hans Klingler, the current Republican Party of Texas communications director and former political director to Rick Perry's 1998 campaign for Lt. Gov, will be leaving the state party to run communications for Hutchison's campaign.

Is this another sign that the Republican establishment is abandoning Rick Perry?

More on the story from the DMN.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Perry Blasts Hutchison at Travis County GOP Event

From the Statesman:
Perry, who generally insists he's focused on the legislative session, mentioned Washington 10 times in 24 minutes, injecting praise just once by noting President Barack Obama's peaceful inauguration.

Rosemary Edwards, who chairs the Travis County GOP, said Perry's barbs could have been intended for anyone in Congress.

Yet Perry framed his pops by comparing state Republicans who balanced the budget without tax increases in 2003 with unnamed people who run as conservatives but govern like Democrats in the nation's capital. That's a contrast he wants to push against Hutchison.

Our nation's founders, Perry said, could never fathom leaders centralizing power in a sprawling federal government, possible references to last year's Wall Street bailout (supported by Hutchison) and spending in Obama's economic stimulus plan that she, like Perry, has questioned.

Perry said of federal spending: "I can't imagine what Texas would look like if we had applied the same principles and the same decision-making in Texas that they're applying in Washington.

It is abundantly clear that Rick Perry intends to attach Kay Bailey Hutchison to everything that is wrong with Washington. Question is, will it work?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Politico: Governors Prepare for Spotlight

Politico has a good read about the power of Republican Governors within the party right now.

This quote just about sums it up:
“Republicans don’t have a lot of power to do anything” in Congress, said veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy. “All the governing power of the GOP is there [among governors] right now.”

Will the Palin Endorsement Help Perry?

A lot has been made of Sarah Palin's endorsement of Rick Perry.

How do you think it will affect the race? Tell us in the comments.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Perry Supporter Connects Hutchison to Obama on Abortion

There is no doubt that if Rick Perry has his way, abortion will become a top issue in the GOP primary next year.

A prominent Rick Perry supporter has been distributing a handout that compares Hutchison's record on abortion to that of President Obama.

From the Star-Telegram:

The handout, a chart labeled "The Stakes Are High," praises Perry as someone who "has always been active in the pro-life movement" and lines him up alongside Sen. John Cornyn.

Hutchison is listed alongside Obama with the note: "Senator Hutchison supports legal abortion until viability and has called for the removal or weakening of the pro-life plank of the Republican party."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rick Perry on the Stimulus Package

Could Rick Perry really reject the Texas share of the federal stimulus package?

And, if he did, would it help him in the Republican Primary next year?

The answer to the second question is probably "yes," but will it really come to that?

From the DMN:

"If there's any risk Perry would reject that money, we want responsible lawmakers to take it, allocate it and use it for Texas," said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle wouldn't say if the governor will oppose taking any of the aid.

"The governor continues to oppose the bailout, but if Congress does allocate taxpayer money, a lot of which is from hard-working Texans, then Texans deserve their fair share," she said.

Several state lawmakers have asked the stimulus package's congressional authors to add wording to let a legislature bypass a governor and accept the federal help.

The U.S. House has passed a stimulus bill with the bypass provision, though it doesn't appear to be in a Senate version.

Even as some prepare to call his bluff, Perry has started a website called NoGovernmentBailouts.com.

As Rick Perry's role as governor continues to merge with his role as gubernatorial candidate, who knows what is possible.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hutchison Appears on Mike Huckabee's Show

Sen. Hutchison appearance on Huckabee's Fox News show could be an attempt to build some credibility among social conservatives. Huckabee rode the support of social conservatives to a first place showing in the Iowa caucuses last year.

Her first words: "I love your show."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

WOAI-TV San Antonio Poll on Gov Race

WOAI-TV San Antonio is conducting a poll asking who its audience thinks will win the Governor's race, as the race has really begun to intensify in recent days.

However you want to describe it, the expected race between Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison hit some kind of new level this week with its first real insult.

Perry dissed Hutchison saying "...you can't even do the (job) that we've hired you to do."

Maybe Perry cranked it up a notch after Paul Burka's Texas Monthly cover story called their fight for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010 "The Thrilla in Vanilla" with a "demure" Senator Kay taking on the "straightlaced" Governor Rick.

So maybe the governor was trying to prove he has a little street-fighter inside his straightlaces. And that a battle pitting former Aggie yell-leader and Eagle Scout Rick against former Longhorn cheerleader sorority sister Kay doesn't have to be all vanilla.

Whatever inspired it, that one little jab led to more ink, blogs, Web hits and general buzz than anything their expected race has seen before. I think I actually heard a couple of people who aren't political junkies talk about it. I could be wrong.

So let the polls begin.

Vote now.

DMN on Hutchsion's Senate Seat

Could Democratic hopes for KBH's U.S. Senate seat affect the Governor's race.

WASHINGTON – The Democrats’ top Senate campaign strategist said his party has an eye on Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat – but not too close an eye.

“No place is a bridge too far for Democrats,” said New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, briefing reporters this afternoon on the 2010 electoral playing field ...

Read the rest of the Dallas Morning News story.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TDP Goes After Hutchison

The Southeast Texas Examiner has the story, with responses from TDP Chair Boyd Richie and Hutchison's office.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie was quick to issue a statement taking Hutchinson to task for missing the debate and votes, noting that other than Hutchinson, the only members of the Senate who missed the votes were Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) suffering from a brain tumor and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) who is not participating in Senate votes due to his nomination as Secretary of Commerce.

Hutchison to Obama: Don't Close GITMO

Although Kay Bailey Hutchison opted not to draft an anti-closing letter that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) wrote (the only other GOP Texan in DC not to sign it was Ron Paul), she still is urging President Obama not to close Guantanamo Bay.

From the Dallas Morning News:

"While sending detainees to the United States is clearly an unsupported choice, and an option fraught with risk, the alternative of sending Guantanamo Bay detainees to prisons in foreign countries or releasing them to their home country is equally a risky option posing potential harm for our country," she writes.

"...We should not abandon the security of Guantanamo Bay for the alternative of foreign transfers that could pose harm to our allies."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are Democrats Scared of Hutchison?

An article from the San Antonio Express-News suggests that high-profile Democrats like Bill White are avoiding the Governor's race because they do not want to run against Hutchison.

Houston Mayor Bill White, whose associates were once spreading the word that he would be a gubernatorial candidate, and former state Comptroller John Sharp, whose interest once was state government, have moved toward the Senate race.

They are angling for the seat that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is running for governor, will vacate.

If Gov. Rick Perry were the lone Republican contender, the top Texas Democrats would be rushing to challenge him. Perry only netted 39 percent of the vote in his last race. But Hutchison’s presence makes their odds a whole lot slimmer.

Hutchison has successfully worked the turf that the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen so succcessfully mastered – business-oriented conservatism – instead of the far-right terrain that Perry claims.

Comparing Hutchison to Lloyd Bensten? That one I had not heard before.

Pro-Life Leader Weighs In

This has got to be music to Rick Perry's ears. Here is what Vision America head and pro-life activist Dr. Rick Scarborough had to say about Perry vs Hutchison.

"Rick Perry has his detractors in Texas and I have been openly critical of some of his positions as Governor, but he is solidly pro-life and pro-family and Texas has prospered under his able leadership," he said. "Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is pro-choice, is apparently willing to expose her own party in Washington to a possible filibuster proof Democratic majority by vacating her seat as U.S. senator while simultaneously dividing her party in Texas with a costly and politically divisive bid to be Governor which is not warranted."

Perry Creates Anti-Bailout Web Site

The Statesman's Gardner Selby has the story on Rick Perry's campaign creating a website that "says no more federal bailouts."

A Perry aide claims its not targeted at Hutchison .... right.

Hutchison, Perry on UTIMCO, Rowling

From the Houston Chronicle, reaction from both Hutchison and Perry:

Thirteen months before Election Day and things are already getting pretty nasty.

More on Rowling, UTIMCO

The Statesman's Jason Embry has more on Robert Rowling and UTIMCO as it has become the subject of a bitter back and forth between Perry and Hutchison.

Monday, February 9, 2009

2/9 Round Up

"I think it's pretty hard to explain to Texans that you want to come to Texas and do another job when you can't even do the one that we've hired you to do," Perry said in response to a reporter's question about Hutchison being in Texas while an $827 billion economic stimulus bill was debated in Washington.
Hutchison has also accused Perry of criticizing UTIMCO chair Robert Rowling because he was listed as a KBH supporter.

Hutchison vs Kerry on "MTP"

Kay vs Rick 2010: Blogging the 2010 Texas Republican Gubernatorial Primary

The upcoming battle for the Republican nomination for Texas Governor is already shaping up to be one of the dirtiest and toughest campaigns in recent history.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is leading in the polls but incumbent Gov. Rick Perry is not going down without a fight.

Read Kay vs Rick for the latest on what promises to be next cycle's most exciting rimary.