Link to article here.
Perry approval takes big drop in stations’ poll
Weak showing in Harris County blamed on anger over 2 tax issues
By R.G. RATCLIFFE
July 21, 2006
AUSTIN – A new poll conducted for a pair of Texas television stations has found Gov. Rick Perry’s job approval rating declining and nowhere more than in Harris County.
The county has become a particular weak spot in the governor’s re-election campaign, largely because of conservative anger over his inability to pass property tax appraisal caps and for adopting a business tax to pay for property tax cuts.
The governor’s staff fended off an effort at the state Republican convention in June to pass a resolution against the business tax. Most of the support for the resolution came from Senate District 7, the home turf of KSEV radio talk show host Dan Patrick, who is a heavy favorite to represent the district in the state Senate next year.
Perry’s drop in job approval occurred in a Survey USA poll conducted for KEYE-TV in Austin and WOAI-TV in San Antonio. The survey was distributed to reporters Friday by the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
The poll found Perry’s approval and disapproval rating at a statistical tie, with 47 percent approving of the job he is doing as governor and 48 percent disapproving.
That’s a drop from the June poll when Perry’s approval rating was 51 percent positive and 45 percent negative.
But that June poll also was done shortly after Perry had saturated the state with television advertising touting that the average Texas homeowner will receive a $2,000 property tax cut under legislation passed in a special session he had called.
The June poll found 55 percent of those surveyed in Harris County approved of Perry’s job as governor. The July poll found that number had declined to 35 percent approving and 65 percent disapproving.
The poll is conducted by automated calls to randomly selected homes and is more indicative of adult residents of Texas than of likely voters.
Perry spokesman Robert Black dismissed the Survey USA report as “bogus,” claiming its methodology could not be trusted.
“It would be foolhardy to pay attention to any poll in July and particularly any poll like Survey USA that is not scientific and certainly not representative of Texas,” Black said.
However, Patrick said he has warned Perry and his chief of staff, Deirdre Delisi, that anti-Republican sentiment is running high in Harris County among conservatives.
Patrick said they are unhappy with state Republicans for not passing a property tax cap and for approving a new business tax when property tax cuts could have been paid for by the state’s budget surplus. He said conservatives are unhappy with the national Republicans for not addressing immigration issues.
“I have not gotten a positive call about the Republican Party” in the past six to eight weeks, Patrick said.
Patrick, the Republican nominee in Senate District 7, faces Democrat F. Michael Kubosh in the general election.
Patrick said he also has been “amazed” at how many callers to his show have said they plan to vote for independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. Patrick said he reminds his listeners that Friedman has fought against executions of convicted murders and has supported gay marriage.
“These people who say they support Kinky may not vote,” Patrick said.
Perry’s re-election is being challenged by Friedman, Strayhorn, Democrat Chris Bell and Libertarian James Werner.