The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Jun
01

TX: White’s “Everywhere Else” Challenge

By · Jun, 01 2010

The Texas Tribune has more analysis gleaned from their recent statewide survey highlighting how the two gubernatorial nominees’ support breaks out geographically.

Democrat Bill White is competitive with incumbent Republican Rick Perry in the state’s four largest metropolitan areas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin) but gets trounced by him “everywhere else.”

if the results for the Big Four Metro areas are combined, we discover that Perry leads White by only 41%-39% among all respondents from these areas. Given the poll’s 3.46% margin of error, this means that Perry and White are statistically tied in the Big Four. Perry’s statistically significant nine-point statewide lead over White in the poll is therefore largely owing to his dramatic lead among voters from everywhere else in the state.

Which leads to the conclusion that Bill White’s problem is with rural Texas, right?

Well, not quite.

“Everywhere else,” it turns out, can’t be neatly placed into a stereotypical, small-town Texan. Everywhere else includes the Democratic-leaning Rio Grande Valley and the good-sized city of El Paso. It includes Republican cities as diverse as Waco, Midland and Amarillo. It’s not just rural Texas.

Successfully campaigning in these diverse regions and targeting vastly different voters requires multiple messages. White has just begun introducing himself to Texans outside metro Houston.

The numbers from this survey reveal he is going to have to pick his targets wisely. The key for him to win statewide will require him to run up much bigger margins in Houston (he’s only leading Perry by 46-40 there), San Antonio and Austin (where the two are running even) and become more competitive in Dallas (where Perry leads by nine, 42-33).

He’ll also have to find a way to get Hispanic voters to the polls (although Arizona’s Jan Brewer may have helped him there).

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Categories : Polls, Texas

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