Thursday, May 7, 2009

Polls indicate both Perry and Sen. Hutchison are tied

A Rasmussen poll released today indicates that Governor Perry and Senator Hutchison are "essentially tied in an early look at their 2010 Primary battle."

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey shows Perry attracting 42% of the vote while Hutchison earns 38%. Seven percent (7%) say they’d like to vote for somebody else and 13% are undecided.

Perry leads by 15 percentage points among conservative voters but Hutchison leads by 35 points among the moderates.

Garner Shelby at the Austin American-Statesman reported yesterday that "A poll taken Sunday and Monday on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign suggests that among Republicans likely to vote in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, Perry is in striking distance of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison."

The summary doesn’t precisely say how pollster Mike Baselice chose who to poll.

Hutchison’s camp later questioned the methodology.

Her campaign manager, Rick Wiley, and a senior strategist, long-time GOP pollster Lance Tarrance Jr., took issue with Perry’s campaign testing the candidates in two ways—both with their officeholder titles (Gov. Perry, Sen. Hutchison) and simply by their names. Tarrance said the sample size in each case means the margin of error for each sample of 250 GOP voters is plus or minus 10 percent.

“Maybe they’re baiting everybody” with the poll, Tarrance said.

Baselice said later the plus or minus margin of error for a sample of 250 voters would actually be 6.1 percent.

In the summary, Baselice advises: “The overall ballot score shows the race much closer than some of recent polls floating around the Internet.” The percentages as relayed to Perry supporters by Perry consultant Dave Carney: Hutchison 44 percent, Perry 39 percent.

Yet those percentage combine the two samples. When the two were paired against each other by names alone, Hutchison led by 11 percentage points, that is: Hutchison, 47 percent, Perry 36 percent.

Put another way, nearly one in two Republican voters favors Hutchison for governor at this time.

Baselice, reached later, defended his approach.

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