It’s coin-flip time among Republican voters in Texas, where former businessman Herman Cain gets 27 percent and their own governor, Rick Perry, 26 percent in a new poll on GOP presidential candidates. However, Perry fares better than President Obama when those surveyed were asked who would win if the election took place today — with the governor receiving 45 percent and the president, 37 percent.
Another Lone Star State boy, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, finishes third with 12 percent in the poll of registered voters who consider themselves Republican. The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune
. took the Internet survey of 800 voters between Oct. 19 and 26 and released the results today.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets 9 percent, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 8 percent. Four other GOP primary candidates — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — got 2 percent or less apiece. And 11 percent of the respondents answered "don't know," while another 1 percent said they would prefer "another Republican candidate."
"Texans appear to be subject to the national dynamic," said Jim Henson, who teaches government at UT, runs the Texas Politics Project there, and co-directs the UT/Tribune poll. "And the dynamic when we were out in the field was that Herman Cain was ascendant. He had really grabbed the attention of the conservatives in the GOP primary race in particular. And we saw that reflected in this poll."
Although the results show that Cain and Perry are tied statistically, Cain lead the governor among rural voters and has a smaller lead in the suburbs, the Tribune reported.
"Maybe the most important number is that Cain is up 37 percent to 24 percent among the most conservative voters," said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a UT government professor. "Perry wins with every other group."
Those surveyed clearly want a different present, the pollsters noted.
Among voters who say they are "extremely interested" in politics and public policy this year, which includes 53 percent of the respondents, Obama would lose to Perry by 19 percentage points, to Cain by 19, to Paul by 15, and to Romney by 12. Among those who are "somewhat interested" — a group that includes 35 percent of the respondents — Obama bests Perry by 4 points, Cain by 10, Paul by 6, and Romney by 11, the poll found.
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