Rick Perry’s Days as Gov Are Numbered, Poll Says
Policy + Politics

Rick Perry’s Days as Gov Are Numbered, Poll Says

REUTERS/Chris Keane

The Lone Star State is looking for a new governor, and Rick Perry, the former Republican presidential candidate, is no doubt prepping for his Alamo moment. 

Perry, who will always be remembered for uttering “Oops” during his “brain lapse” at last year’s Republican debate, when he failed to name the Department of Energy as the 3rd agency he would dump if elected, faces voters who want him out – 62 percent say it’s time for Perry to give it up, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released today.

Even his core GOP primary voters want a new head honcho by a margin of 47 to 41 percent.  One reason is the rising popularity of gunslinger Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has amassed over $18 million in campaign contributions to date, although he hasn’t declared his candidacy—yet.  

Both men are conservatives and claim to be friends, but the PPP survey makes an interesting distinction between this match-up and others where Tea Party candidates bested incumbents. “The Abbott threat to Perry does not represent the typical Tea Party insurgency that has endangered many Republican officeholders over the last couple election cycles. GOP voters describing themselves as 'very conservative' want Perry to be their candidate again by a 53/33 margin. But moderates (77/15) and voters identifying [themselves] as just 'somewhat conservative' (49/38) are both ready for a change.”    

Abbott recently made headlines in New York when he ran two separate ads in Manhattan and Albany inviting gun owners to move to Texas. The ads ran after Governor Andrew Cuomo passed one of the toughest gun laws in the country on Tuesday, including a full ban on assault weapons. One of the ads says, “WANTED: LAW ABIDING NEW YORK GUN OWNERS LOOKING FOR LOWER TAXES AND GREATER OPPORTUNITY.” 

Texas, like Florida, has no income tax compared with New York, which has one of the highest state tax rates in the country – and that doesn’t include New York City, which has a separate tax rate. Since the cost of living in New York City is also one of the highest in the country, New Yorkers have been hit disproportionately by the fiscal cliff tax deal, which raises rates on the rich and reduces deductions for couples earning over $250,000. 

New York isn’t the only city targeted by Texan lawmakers. Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz recently invited the CEOs of the Bank of America and the TD Bank Group, as well as gun manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., to hightail it out of Chicago and head for the Texas plains. The reason—Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial request to the banks to stop lending money to gun makers.

Perry could opt for another run at the White House instead of squaring off in high-noon fashion against Abbott. But if Perry is the nominee for governor yet again, the state is a shoe-in to go Democratic, according to the PPP poll.