is a government professor at the University of Texas. He has polled in mayoral, congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential elections and has written two books and numerous articles on public opinion, voting behavior and political campaigns.
The latest UT/TT Poll showing a single-digit lead for Greg Abbott over Wendy Davis in the gubernatorial race raised some eyebrows. Adding some context to a survey taken more than a year before Election Day helps provide some clarity on the results.
So how to create a likely voter model? Campaign pollsters typically use a combination of past voting history — available off the registered voter list — and current interest and engagement. Those who have voted in the past, as well as those who are jazzed about voting this year, tend to get into the likely electorate.
The University of Texas / Texas Tribune poll, conducted from February 1-7, shows Gov. Rick Perry holding a 24-point lead over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican gubernatorial primary contest, with Debra Medina posing a surprisingly strong challenge to Hutchison for second place.
The results of the first UT/Texas Tribune poll, which was in the field from October 20-27 and sampled 800 Texans who identified themselves as registered voters, shows Texas slowly turning their attention to the 2010 elections. Perhaps more to the point, they have become extremely skeptical about the direction of the federal government. Today we’ll focus on the election match ups and what they tell us about the state of play a little less than six months out from the March primaries.