Say it ain't O: A hypothetical 2012 matchup between Barack Obama and Rick Perry finds the two men tied in Texas — even though the president was soundly defeated here when he ran in 2008, at the height of his popularity, and even though the governor was handily reelected to a third full term in November.
In a survey of 892 Texas voters conducted Jan. 14-16, North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling found that Perry and Obama would each pull 45 percent of the vote — the worst showing against the incumbent Democrat of the potential Republican challengers in the survey. Former Alaska Gov. and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin would beat Obama in Texas by just a single point, 47 percent to 46 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads Obama in Texas 49 to 42, while former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads the presdient 48 to 43. The Republican who fares best against Obama in Texas is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who trounces him 55 to 39.
None of the five candidates pitted against Obama is a declared candidate for president. Perry, alone among them, has aggressively denied any plans to run.
Survey respondents were also asked to approve or disapprove of the performance of various elected officials. Obama and Perry each have an approval rating in the state of just 42 percent; 55 percent disapprove of the president, while 50 percent disapprove of the governor. U.S. Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison's approval/disapproval rating is 45/37, while U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's is 44/32.
The poll has a margin of error of 3.3 percent. Fifty percent of respondents self-identified as conservative, 37 percent as moderate and 13 percent as liberal. Forty-two percent described themselves as Republican, 31 percent as Democrat and 27 percent as Independent/Other. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they're white, 17 percent Hispanic and 13 percent African American. More than 60 percent of respondents were at least 46 years old.
The full results of the survey, including crosstabs, are attached.