Poll: In Texas, Rick Perry narrowly trails Herman Cain

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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Texas Governor Rick Perry, the one-time Republican front-runner who has seen his support dwindle after several sub-par debate performances, is now trailing former pizza mogul Herman Cain in his own state.

A new poll conducted by The University of Texas and The Texas Tribune finds Cain leading the Republican field in the Lone Star State with 27-percent support. Perry was supported by 26 percent of respondents, a number within the margin of error.

Congressman Ron Paul, who represents the 14th Congressional District in Texas, came in third with 12-percent support. He was followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 9 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 2 percent. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each attracted 1 percent; fully 12 percent of those polled said they didn’t know or favored someone else.

Perry’s approval rating hovers at 44 percent, the poll found, with 39 percent disapproving of how he has governed the state. Many Texans also don’t seem to agree with Perry’s central campaign message that he has led the state to prosperity. Forty-two percent approved of how he has managed the state’s economy, while 41 percent disapproved.

Things haven’t always been this bad for Perry, the state’s longest-serving governor. Just five weeks ago a Public Policy Polling survey showed Perry was the overwhelming favorite among Texas Republicans with 49 percent support. The other candidates had a combined total of just 44 percent support.

The poll was conducted October 19–26 among 800 Texas voters. The margin of error for the Republican sample is plus or minus 4.93 percentage points.