The new survey of the Texas gubernatorial race by Public Policy Polling (D) finds Republican Gov. Rick Perry in a tied race with his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White.
The poll has Perry and White at 43% each. The survey of registered voters has a ±4.4% margin of error. A key indicator of Perry’s vulnerability is that his approval rating is only 36%, with 49% disapproval, while White has a favorable rating of 37%-25%. In the horserace cross-tabs, Perry leads among Republicans by 74%-15%, White leads among Democrats by 76%-10%, and White leads with independents by 42%-36%.
The TPM Poll Average has Perry ahead of White by 46.1%-40.8%.
Another important number, which should concern Perry in light of his growing national profile as a leader among Tea Party-style Republicans, is this question: “Do you think that Rick Perry should run for President in 2012?” The answer is only Yes 10%, No 69%.
“Things look promising for White but Texas is still a conservative state where Barack Obama is exceedingly unpopular and that could end up proving to be too much for him to overcome,” writes PPP communications director Tom Jensen. “It may end up that White is the right candidate just running in the wrong cycle. But for now this looks like a surprisingly strong opportunity for Democrats and a race that could certainly end up as one of the most closely watched in the country.”
Late Update: This post originally referred to Bill White as the mayor of Houston. He is the former mayor of Houston, having left office this year due to term limits.