Elections

Poll Finds Many Voters Unsure About Upcoming Elections

With tonight's debate between President Obama and Governor Romney, a new poll finds the Governor with a 20 point lead over the President in Texas. That's not a big surprise in a solidly-red state. But the same poll also finds many voters haven't made up their minds in the race for U.S. Senate, and they're not so sure right now about backing Governor Rick Perry for another term.

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The Lyceum Poll from the University of Texas asked likely voters if they would vote for Governor Perry if he were to run again two years from now. Eighteen percent said yes. Thirty percent said no. And more than half said they would have to wait and see who’s running against him. Brandon Rottinghaus is an Associate Professor of political science at the University of Houston. He says the reluctance among voters comes from the governor’s poor performance during his presidential bid.

“And so I tend to think that that kind of public failure tended to create in peoples’ minds some doubts about whether he could continue to be a good governor.”

Rottinghaus says he expects Perry to focus heavily on education and immigration during next year’s legislative session, in an attempt to rehabilitate his image before he has to decide whether to seek another term.

Meanwhile, in the race for U.S. Senate, Republican Ted Cruz leads Democrat Paul Sadler 50 to 24 percent. A significant chunk of voters — 26 percent — say they haven’t even thought about the race enough to form an opinion.

Rottinghaus says one explanation for the lack of interest comes from the Republicans’ dominance in Texas.

“And that’s likely to trickle down to the Senate races, and several House races — depending on the nature of the House race. So I think a lot of people probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what is, essentially, a non-competitive race.”

Rottinghaus also points out that this is still relatively early in the Senate race. He predicts polls taken after last night’s senatorial debate, and the senatorial debate coming up on October 19th, will show fewer undecided voters.

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David Pitman

David Pitman

Host/Announcer

David was HPM's local Morning Edition host from 2009 to 2020 — when he was moved to the position of Technical Director of Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, and Town Square with Ernie Manouse. David has extensive public and commercial broadcast journalism and production experience dating back to 1993 –...

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