A potential Rick Perry Presidential bid has been getting oodles of attention in the last few weeks. There's one place where voters aren't real into the possibility though- Texas. Only 33% of voters in the state think he should make a bid for the White House compared to 59% opposed to him running. More surprising than that? Perry actually trails Barack Obama 47-45 in a hypothetical match up in the state.
Perry's trailing Obama certainly has nothing to do with the President being popular. Only 42% of voters in the state like the job he's doing to 55% who rate him poorly. Texas is a Republican state to begin with him and Obama has a lot more Democrats (14%) who disapprove of him than GOP voters who approve (6%) and beyond that he's on negative ground with independents at 46/47.
Perry, however, is almost as unpopular. Only 43% of voters approve of him with 52% giving him bad marks. Most striking in Perry's numbers is a horrible 33/62 standing with independents. He also has 21% of Republicans disapproving of him while only 12% of Democrats cross over to give him good marks. Perry may prove to be a strong Presidential candidate but his numbers in Texas are nothing to write home about.
The only potential Republican candidate for President in Texas who does as bad as Perry is Sarah Palin. She has a 37/55 favorability breakdown and trails Obama 46-44 in a head to head. That's just more confirmation that the GOP nominating her could lead to a 400+ electoral vote landslide reelection for Obama.
Most of the rest of the GOP field leads Obama. Mitt Romney fares the best with an 8 point lead at 50-42, Ron Paul is up 5 at 45-40, Michele Bachmann has a 3 point advantage at 47-44, and Tim Pawlenty's up by a single point at 44-43. Herman Cain ties the President at 43%.
Before Democrats get too excited about the prospect of winning Texas this needs to be noted- the vast majority of undecideds in all of these match ups disapprove of the job Obama is doing. For instance in the match up with Perry 88% of undecideds disapprove of Obama's job performance to only 8% who approve. If you allocate the undecided voters based on their assessment of Obama that shifts the numbers 7 points and puts Perry ahead by 5.
The undecideds break down similarly in most of the head to heads between Obama and the various respective GOP candidates, something that would seem to reflect a lot of voters disliking the President but having their doubts about the GOP field of candidates as well. When push comes to shove those folks are not likely to be in the President's corner.
One thing that would definitely help Obama's prospects of winning the state though? If everyone who thought Texas should secede from the union just stayed home from the polls next year. 18% of voters think the state should secede to 71% who are opposed to the idea with 11% unsure. The 18% who want to secede are 61% Republicans and only 13% Democrats. So the voters left over would almost surely put Texas into the blue column- with the 71% who oppose secession Obama leads Romney by 6, Paul by 12, Pawlenty, Cain, and Bachmann by 15, Palin by 17, and Perry by 19. Demographic change may make Texas winnable for Democrats in the long run but in the shorter term successfully encouraging the secessionists to stay at home would be a winning strategy.
One final note on Texas- we did an analysis a couple weeks ago finding that most of the Republican Presidential candidates had upside down favorability numbers in their home states and backers of Ron Paul were very mad we didn't have Texas numbers for him. Now we do- 30% of voters rate him favorably to 46% with a negative opinion. So he's as unpopular on the home front as all the rest.
Full results here