Most of you know my feelings on polls. They're useful tools for taking the temperature of say...a political race, but they're typically insufficient in scope to provide the basis for public policy. (see: Houston Area Survey for more)) A second problem that I have with them is that decisions when answering a poll have zero consequences. Since I voted in the Republican primary in the last election (Mainly because the local races there weren't settled, and candidates I wanted to try and get in those races etc.) I get several polls from the Republican National Committee. Some of these I actually answer for a lark, despite the fact that I'm probably not their target audience.
One thing fun about polls is getting a chance to play "What does it all mean?" It's, sort of, a parlor game played well by the better political pundits and bloggers, and not so well by those who's only political cred centers around the facts that blogs are free and they can fog a mirror. Since I didn't die from my recent bout with stomach flu, and I've never let piddly things like political credibility get in my way.....
This all brings us to the two recent polls, by Public Policy Priorities and the Texas Credit Union League regarding the upcoming Party primary elections in Texas. First, it should be noted that this ground has already been plowed by bloggers far more talented than I. David Jennings and Evan from Perry vs. World chiming in on the Republican side, and Charles Kuffner writing for the Democratics. I suggest you go take a read at those blogs as well.
Here are my thoughts:
We have two front-line candidates for Governor: It's Perry vs. White, with Shami providing everyone with some amusing asides and Debra Medina becoming a media darling. Then we're left with Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose star has fallen so far, so fast having her name spelled correctly by certain Republican party activists could be construed as a major win.
Angry is easy: Governing is hard. The Democrats, propelled to large majorities over the anger of the populace due to (insert reason here), found this out when their reading of the post-election tea leaves caused them to overreach on their agenda and forget rule one: It's the economy stupid. I've a feeling that the Tea Party movement is going to run into this wall, possibly as soon as this election. Being angry over the Democrats "stealing America" (they're not) or Obama "trying to take away rights" (he hasn't) is easier than crafting solutions to big problems that go beyond the simple and pedantic. Cutting taxes is one thing, ensuring there's still a funded Government in place to operate the mechanizations of the country....
As for everything else: Once you get past the Gubernatorial race at the top of the ticket, the Dems card is..well...pretty weak. The hope here is obviously that Bill White's coattails will be long but, outside of Houston at least, it's not looking as if he'll be all that effective. Still, polls are not totally reflective of what will happen on election day and my guess is, should a miracle happen, a Medina win would spell a Bill White Governorship regardless of what pollsters are saying right now.
Could another State-wide Republican sweep be in the works?