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The Brief: February 3, 2010

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Case in point: Debra Medina gains 4 points in a Rasmussen poll. Those points must come from somewhere.  Apparently, that somewhere is U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

See if you can catch the subtle difference between yesterday’s results and the poll that preceded them:

Here are the Rasmussen poll results from January 18:

43% Perry

33% Hutchison

12% Medina

11% Not sure 

Here are Rasmussen's results from February 2:

44% Perry

29% Hutchison

16% Medina

11% Not sure

While Gov. Rick Perry maintains a strong lead, he does not appear to have gained any ground.  And since he still isn’t polling over 50 percent, the race is in run-off territory. 

A run-off may be Hutchison’s best hope.  Here’s what Rasmussen had to say about her chances:

“Turnout is often difficult to project for primaries. However, for Hutchison to win with the current attitudes, she would need more than 50% of the primary voters to be politically moderate.”

Naturally, the Medina squad is encouraged by the result. “Now that the people of Texas are watching and listening, we expect to accelerate drastically this next month in the polls,” says Medina campaign manager Penny Langford Freeman.  “Many Texans feel they finally have found their voice in the race for Governor.”

The other campaigns, despite their different fortunes, are of one mind on the matter of polling. This time, see if you can spot any similarities in their responses:

Perry spokesman Mark Miner: “The only poll that matters is on election day. Governor Perry will continue traveling the state talking about his conservative record and vision for the future.”

Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder: “The only poll that matters is the one on election day when Texans will face a choice between Rick Perry's record of cronyism or Kay Bailey Hutchison's plan for an even stronger Texas.”

CULLED:

• It’s all about the Benjamins. According to the latest ethics reports, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White has raised more campaign cash than any other candidate in the governor's race. He’s just slightly ahead of Republican Gov. Rick Perry, but he nearly tripled the total reported U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The other Republican vying for governor, Debra Medina, has seen her intake increase since appearing in two televised debates.  She pulled in impressive numbers for a grassroots campaign.  White bested his Democratic rival, Farouk Shami, who is relying largely on his personal fortune to campaign in the Democratic primary.

• Thanks for playing.  Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a motion in the federal court in Pecos on Tuesday to dismiss Alpine, Pflugerville, Rockport and Wichita Falls from a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  Abbot says the first amendment rights of the cities, which filed along with 15 elected state officials, could not have been violated.

“Oh, Medina/ I really like what you have to say/ I’ve been owning my property/ Don’t want no government to take it away.” — a Debra Medina fan expressing himself on YouTube to the tune of “My Maria,” a song made famous by Brooks and Dunn

MUST READ:

In Texas, Resistance Over Stricter U.S. Smog Limits — The New York Times

White comes by his geek credentials honestlyAustin American-Statesman

• Colleges across state, nation report steep drop in donationsThe Dallas Morning News

• Gloves come off at GOP primary debateWaco Tribune-Herald

Hutchison raps Perry on vaccine — Associated Press

Hutchison runner-up for 'Porker of the Year'The Dallas Morning News

• Seat Warmers? — The Texas Tribune

Medina may be spoiler in GOP race — San Antonio Express-News

 

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