Poll shows Perry, Cain in virtual tie in Texas

Posted Monday, Oct. 31, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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One point.

That's how much a poll released Monday showed Gov. Rick Perry trailing former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain -- in Texas among those who identify themselves as Republicans -- in the GOP presidential race.

Cain pulled 27 percent to Perry's 26 percent in a virtually even race, according to the poll by the University of Texas at Austin/Texas Tribune. Coming in third was U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson, with 12 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 9 percent and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent.

Other Republican candidates received 2 percent or less of the vote.

Political observers have said that Perry -- who has several things working in his favor, including logging millions in fundraising, campaigning aggressively and delivering a job-oriented economic message -- is not even close to down for the count.

But some political observers say they are surprised Perry isn't leading in his home state.

"He is not dominating here the way one might have expected," Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a government professor at the University of Texas, has said.

Perry's campaign dismissed the new poll results Monday.

"The only poll that really matters is the one on Election Day," said Katherine Cesinger, state press director for his presidential campaign. "So Gov. Perry will continue traveling the country to meet with voters and will continue talking about issues that matter to Americans like creating jobs and improving our nation's economy."

Cain is ahead of Perry with rural voters in Texas; Perry leads Cain in urban Texas. Cain has the edge in Houston and Austin; Perry has the lead in Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, the poll says.

Asked about Perry's job performance, 44 percent of Texans disapprove. Asked about President Barack Obama's job performance, 57 percent disapprove.

The poll shows that Perry would fare better than other Republicans against Obama if the general election were held today, drawing 45 percent of the votes to Obama's 37 percent. Cain would draw 40 percent to Obama's 35 percent, Paul would pick up 38 percent to Obama's 33 percent and Romney would earn 36 percent to Obama's 34 percent, according to the poll.

The statewide poll, an Internet survey of 800 registered voters, was conducted Oct. 19 through Wednesday. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 5.2 percentage points; the margin of error for questions about matching GOP candidates against Obama is plus or minus 3.5 points, according to the university.

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

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