Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mitt Wins Florida

To celebrate Mitt's win, here's the Tony Awards performance of "I Believe" from the musical The Book of Mormon.

Race of Bexar County Democratic Party Chair

One of the most overlooked races taking place this year will not be fought on November 6.  This race will be won or lost on whatever day the primary is

The race for Bexar County Democratic Party Chair is interesting.  Of course any internal party fight is interesting.  Rather than just where candidates stand on issues, these types of races get personal and you almost have as many egos to deal with as those in the U.S. Congress.  But I digress.

Who’s running?  Current Chair Choco Meza and political consultant Manuel Medina.

You can read Meza’s bio here.  Plaza de Armas has a good write up on Medina (behind a pay wall).

Choco Meza.  Meza is running on both her record and her plans for the future.  Her campaign literature emphasizes what has dominated most of her term as chair: The Debt.  After precinct chairs rightfully removed former Chair Dan Ramos, Meza was elected by the precinct chairs as the new chair.  Once elected went about collecting donations and erasing the debt.  She was helped in large part thanks to attorney Mikal Watts (after being verbally smacked by a previous county chair, Watts has once again come to the rescue of the party).  Now that the debt has been erased, Meza and the party can focus on the future.
Her priorities/plans are mentioned on her literature:
Expand the Party Organizational Structure
Maintain Sound and Transparent Financial Records
Advocate for Issues Relevant to Citizens
Develop a Winning Plan for November 2012
Manuel Medina.  Medina's campaign seems to have not really gotten underway.  Most of what the "public" knows about his campaign has come from the one article in Plaza de Armas or from his petitions to get on the ballot.  The term public is used loosely (how many people have really read about the county chair's race). So what can be gleaned from this article, and a few other sources?  Medina flatly states why he’s running: ...because local party leadership isn't articulating "Democratic values," isn't publicly pressing for passage of the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform, or policies that would increase access to higher ed. The idea is to boost Democratic turnout by giving the faithful something to rally around.

A couple of issues that might be front and center for Democrats right now are Voter ID and redistricting.  Meza was quoted in an Express-News article this month on Voter ID and was also recently in a KSAT12 news report on redistricting.

The other part of his campaign message (like any challenger) is one of change.  His message on change, frankly, falls flat on its face.  Again from Plaza de Armas: "I think we have two county chairs… We have to turn the page on the Dan Ramos-Choco Meza saga," he says. "These guys have fought the fight for the last 20 or 30 years. They've done more good than bad. But it's time to turn the page on both of them."

That statement can be interpreted in 2 ways.  1) That Dan Ramos and Choco Meza have been the two bigwigs fighting for control of the party over the last 20 to 30 years and I’ll bring something different.  2) That Ramos and Meza represent two factions of the party that have been fighting for control of the party over the last 20 to 30 years and I’ll bring something different.

Interpreted either way, once again his message on change falls flat on its face.  Interpretation 1: it’s literally a Dan Ramos-Choco Meza fight.  To say that Dan Ramos has been involved in these internal party struggles for the last 20 to 30 years is probably correct.  To say that Meza was, is kind of laughable.  No doubt she may have been involved in the party, but to say she was a person at the center, no.  She was working in D.C. from 1992 to 1996 at HUD (Housing and Urban Development).  After that she was Senior VP at SAHA (San Antonio Housing Authority).  Somehow I can’t see a person holding those positions involved in these party fights that, at times, got very public.  Wouldn’t there have been headlines?

Interpretation 2: The Ramos-Meza fight is a metaphor about the other ongoing fights in the party.  This interpretation is even more laughable than the first.  Medina is trying to be the candidate of change, but who are his supporters.  Looking at the signatures on his petitions makes him appear less an agent of change and more an agent of a return to infighting.  To become a candidate for county chair one only needed about 20 signatures from current precinct chairs.  Medina filed with the signatures of 24, a good number of which have connections to Dan Ramos.  So much for being the change candidate.  In addition, other supporters of his seem be in his camp merely because of personal grudges.  (Like I said, these internal party fights can get personal.)

That seems to be the case of Dmitri Kosub.  Taking on the early role of Cassandra, he was warning the party that there were money troubles months before everything came to light.  Now it seems the power he once had (because there was a leadership vacuum) as the party’s Budget and Finance Committee Chair  became diminished once a competent county chair was in place.  Meza took away my power, so I’ll support someone else.

Another case of sour grapes seems to be Chris Forbrich, also a Medina supporter.  Forbrich has twice tried to be City Councilman for District 1 and come up short both times.  The first time he ran, in 2009, was against incumbent Mary Alice Cisneros, wife of former Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.  One person Meza has worked with is Henry Cisneros.  Meza was obviously a backer of Mary Alice Cisneros and did speak for the councilwoman on occasions during the campaign.  No doubt some wounds were caused, and apparently have not completely healed.

Forbrich’s support also completely ignores the distrust of Dan Ramos.  From Plaza de Armas: Forbrich says his support is equal parts admiration for Medina and opposition to Meza, whom he accuses of withholding fundraising support until Ramos was pushed out of the picture. Meza is a Democratic National Committeewoman and a seasoned fundraiser.

"She chose to throw the party under the bus," Forbrich says. "She raised the money only when she could have all the glory." Which downplays the lack of trust would-be contributors had in Ramos' administration.

No large donors or elected officials, which is what was needed to erase the debt, were going to give money to the party as long as Ramos was chair.  Maybe if the money never had to go through Ramos; but when the district attorney required the money go through Ramos, there was no chance.  To say that Meza was pulling the strings and making sure elected officials and large donors withheld support is ridiculous.

It’s so nice that Medina now wants to lead the party now that it’s back on its feet and functioning and is worth something.  Of course, the big question to ask is where was Medina the rest of time?  Was he out there raising money to pay off the debt? FYI, financial reports show he gave no money to help pay down the debt.  He’s also never been a precinct chair.

Even someone who has worked with Medina is behind Meza.  From Plaza de Armas: SA-based consultant Christian Archer, who got to know Medina when they organized a conference of young Latino Democrats here in 2001, considers the 42-year-old "one of the best political operatives I've ever met."

…Christian Archer, too, is behind Meza, despite his relationship with Medina.

"He knows how to win elections," Archer says. "He should be out doing that, and not worrying about when the precinct chairs should meet next."

If we were to give this race a hotness rating, we'd have to give it 2 different ratings.  For the general everyday voter, we'd say 2 peppers:

For Democratic activists, donors, and anyone else involved with the party, we'd say 5 peppers:

1) Type of race.  This is a race for county chair of a political party.  If there is one race that almost no voter pays attention to, it's a race for county chair.  This is also brings up the question why do voters get to vote on an office in a political party's structure?  This is a race only a small segment of the population will pay attention to, but since it will be on the ballot, it will undoubtedly attract a larger number of voters.

Even though this race will not be on every voter's radar, that doesn't mean it won't get hot.  For those people watching the race, they're expecting it to get hot and nasty.  It's amazing, the media is talking about the negativity of the Republican presidential primary, but how often do you notice that these smaller races will be much nastier.  Here in San Antonio, for instance, you can find bad blood between elected officials (and others) tracing their roots to school board races.

2) Money.  Being so low on the totem pole of importance to the voters also means it's low on the totem pole of importance to most donors.  About the only people who will likely give money to this type of race (aside from the candidate funding his or her race themselves) are party activists and power players within the party.

To reiterate, this is a race for county chair of a political party.  Ask any regular voter, Republican or Democrat, to name their party chairman and you're likely to get a lot of "I don't know"s.  We'll try our best at THS to keep following this race to the best of our ability.

We'll be the first to admit that this piece wasn't fair in all respects to the candidacy of Manuel Medina.  However, having watched how the party was wrecked over the past few years, this race is too important for Democrats to sit on the sidelines and think that it doesn't matter who is elected chair.

Rick Perry: $4.5 million for 6 jobs

A staffer of Gov. Perry's testified against transparency.  The governor's Emergency Technology Fund, which has been targeted for elimination, hands out millions to companies who create jobs in Texas.  Now the governor thinks requiring the companies to disclose how many jobs they created is bad:
A member of Gov. Rick Perry's staff testified Monday that the Legislature might have gone too far in requiring technology startups to disclose how many jobs they are creating with taxpayer money.

Jonathan Taylor, director of the Emerging Technology Fund, said the fund administered by the governor's office has improved its transparency because of changes in the law last year.

"You will not find a state — and certainly not a private — fund that provides as much information," Taylor told the Senate Committee on Economic Development.

But Taylor also testified that some of the 133 companies receiving $192.7 million from taxpayers objected to reporting the number of jobs they had created.

Taylor said there is concern that competitors would use the information — whether a company is shrinking or growing — against them.

"Do I really want to give that information to their competitors?" he asked rhetorically.

After the meeting, Taylor said about 10 percent of the companies had objected to reporting the job numbers.

Coincidentally, the governor's office on Monday posted its 2011 annual report on the technology fund, including the breakdown of how the 133 companies created 820 jobs so far with the $192.7 million in awards.
Enter Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin):
Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said he was concerned about the ramifications of keeping job numbers secret from the public.

"Those of us who support this fund have an obligation to see that the fund works and that the public sees that the fund works," he said.

Andrew Wheat of the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice is a frequent critic of Perry's management of state incentives for job creation.

"Texas taxpayers sunk a couple hundred million dollars into ETF companies and have a right to see what they are getting in return, including job numbers," Wheat said. "Companies that don't want to keep taxpayers in the loop should not take taxpayer money."

Sen. Mike Jackson, a Republican from La Porte and the author of last year's legislation, said he was surprised that companies objected to disclosing their job numbers.

But Jackson, who is chairman of the Economic Development Committee, suggested a compromise.

"Is there some way to come up with an estimate that doesn't put a company at a competitive disadvantage?" Jackson said.
Really?  A competitive disadvantage?  The issue is more likely that governor wants to keep slush fund and doesn't want to reveal that he may be handing out millions in taxpayer dollars only to have a handful of jobs created.  Something...like...this:
Genprex Inc., formerly known as Convergen LifeSciences, was the company that drew the Legislature's attention last year and prompted a state auditor's review of the technology fund.

The company received $4.5 million, the second-largest grant from the fund, in 2010 to pursue nanomolecular cancer therapies.

Critics questioned how the company, led by a friend of the governor's, got the grant after it had trouble obtaining initial approval at the local level.

Convergen LifeSciences sued to block the release of information about its contract, which revealed that private investors put little money into the deal.

The company is preparing for clinical trials for its product, and it has created six jobs so far.
$4.5 million for 6 jobs.  That's $750,000 per job.  Wonder how many teachers that could have kept employed?

The Dallas Morning News also reports on this story.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good.is: What's Your Candidate Worth?

Read the full article and view a larger picture at Good.is

I Hate Mondays...

but I love the movie Casablanca.  I also hate political candidates (namely a certain former U.S. House Speaker) who think being able to speak a second language is bad.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cortez Running Into Trouble

District 117 candidate Phil Cortez has begun running into trouble.  A debate held by PACE (People Active in Community Effort) has shown Cortez to be in trouble in his own backyard.  From Plaza de Armas:
Audience members submitted questions on index cards, and it quickly became obvious that they were reserving their most stinging inquiries for Cortez. One particularly leading question began by asserting that Cortez never shows up for his job at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center: “Do you support elected officials getting high-paying jobs for ghost positions?”

Cortez called it “an unfair question,” and said he has time cards to prove that he’s putting in the hours.

Cortez’s integrity was further challenged with questions about his poor attendance record on the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization board, his numerous campaign-fund reimbursements to himself during his Council races, and his false 2007 statement that he’d completed a Master’s Degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio (he hadn’t yet completed the program) and the deceptive way in which he handled his two-month training stint in Fort Meade, Md., in 2010, which enabled his then-fiancee/current wife Leticia Cantu to win a Council appointment as his interim replacement.

In our look at District 117, we mentioned that Cortez did come with some baggage.  Looks like the baggage starting to be hauled out, along with some other issues.

Oops, And the Rest

We've gone through the various elected officials who have had to say Oops after endorsing Rick Perry for President.  We now come to the last segment in this series: And the Rest.

Among those saying Oops are:

Ted Cruz, former Solicitor General of Texas and current candidate for the Republican nomination for Kay Bailey Hutchison's senate seat.

Kinky Friedman, author, country singer, and former independent candidate for Governor of Texas in 2006 (against Rick Perry).

James Leininger, conservative Texas donor who made his money from medical equipment and who poured money into Texas legislative races in order to get a voucher program passed.

Dean Cain, actor most famous for playing Superman in TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Steve Munisteri,  TX GOP Chair

Paul Senft, RNC Committeeman from Florida

Reta Hamilton, RNC Committeewoman from Arkansas

Steve Forbes, Forbes magazine guy and failed Republican presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000.

Ruben Navarrette, conservative nationally syndicated Latino columnist.

David Wilkins, former Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and former Ambassador to Canada.

Van Poole, former Florida Republican Party chair and current lobbyist.

Kurt Wuelper, New Hampshire Right to Life president.

Good Friday

Rick Perry's approval rating plunges in the state of Texas:

Gov. Rick Perry's ill-fated presidential campaign left a sour taste with many Texans and damaged his standing with Republican voters, according to a new poll commissioned by the American-Statesman and other state newspapers.

Almost 1 in 3 Texas Republicans said Perry's performance on the national stage dimmed their view of the governor, and 40 percent said he should not seek re-election in 2014, the survey found.

Across party lines, many blamed Perry's fast-starting, fast-collapsing campaign — punctuated by misstatements and debate gaffes that became fodder for late-night comedians — for tarnishing the state's image nationally. 

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will likely not be back for a second Obama administration:
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Bloomberg TV that President Obama is "not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident. I'm confident he'll be president. But I'm also confident he's going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

State of the Judiciary: 4th Court of Appeals, Place 7

The 4th Court of Appeals is one of the 14 Courts of Appeals throughout Texas.  It's that step between the district court, county court level and the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals level.

The 4th Court covers 32 counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Brooks, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, La Salle, Mason, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Real, Starr, Sutton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Wilson, Zapata, and Zavala.

The 4th Court is comprised of 7 justices: Chief Justice Catherine Stone (D), Justice Marialyn Barnard (R), Justice Rebecca Simmons (R), Justice Steve Hilbig (R), Justice Karen Angelini (R), Justice Sandee Bryan Marion (R), and Justice Phylis Speedlin (R).

Date of Appointment or Year Elected:
Stone, 1994
Barnard, 2009
Simmons, 2005
Hilbig, 2006
Angelini, 1997
Marion, 2002
Speedlin, 2003

This year on the 4th Court of Appeals, 5 seats are up. Barnard (Place 2), Simmons (Place 3), Hilbig (Place 4), Angelini (5), Speedlin (Place 7).

This year Democrats are making a full court press in order to regain their majority on the court.  They've recruited and are preparing to make sure the candidates for these seats have the resources they need.

Only one of the seats will see a Democratic primary, Place 7.  Running in the primary are Rebeca Martinez and Carmen Samaniego.

Rebeca Martinez.  Martinez has been here, but didn't manage to do that.  She ran in 2010 against Marialyn Barnard, winning about 44% of the vote. Martinez is an attorney in San Antonio and according to her website, "...continues to maintain a general civil trial law, family and criminal litigation practice."  She recently secured the endorsement of the San Antonio AFL-CIO.  Martinez may go into the race the slight favorite simply because she has already traveled most of this territory.  What may hold her back is her temperament.  Martinez has been said to be very negative at times and somewhat hard to work with.

One interesting thing to note. In 2006, Democrats missed winning the Place 4 seat on the 4th Court by 8407.  Dan Pozza (D) lost to Steve Hilbig (R): 206,857 to 215,264.  The percentages were 49% to 50.99%.  In 2010, Martinez lost to Barnard: 209,931 to 268,383.  The percentages were 43.88 to 56.11%.  Martinez scored more votes than the best Democrat in 2006, but because of a higher voter turnout, lost.

Carmen Samaniego.  Samaniego is also an attorney in San Antonio and according to her website, "Practicing law in Bexar and surrounding counties, concentrating on probate, elder law and civil litigation, from pre-suit to appeal."

Judicial races are one of the hardest races for anyone to make a choice in.  If it's an open seat and you have 2 attorneys running against each other, how do judge who would be the best?  They're both attorneys, they both have practices, they both have J.D.s, etc.  Sometimes you'll get a candidate who has been an appointed municipal court judge, so at least they can set themselves apart and show judicial experience.

Rebeca Martinez: Contributions: $0; Expenditures: $0; CoH: $0
Carmen Samaniego: Contributions: $17,825; Expenditures: $8,503.39; CoH: $9,952.25

Rebeca Martinez: website, Facebook
Carmen Samaniego: website, Facebook, Twitter

If we were going to give this race a hotness rating, we'd say 2 peppers:

1) Type of race.  Let's face it, judicial races at almost any level don't get the attention they deserve.  What's ironic is how well-funded some judicial races and candidates are, but I digress.  For judicial races, the most interested parties are going to be attorneys and law firms (I know, shocking).  The other group most interested these days are business groups.  About the third most interested would be the political parties.  After that, most voters aren't going to have these types of races on the their front burner.

2) Money. If there is a concerted effort by Democrats and attorneys (as their is rumored to be), this race could heat up; they will pick a candidate in the primary and ensure she gets the nomination.  Let's face, money will heat up almost any race.

All in all, this is a judicial race, which means it already has limited appeal.  Although Martinez enters the race with a name ID advantage, if she hasn't started raising money, the edge then goes to Samaniego.  This race covers a large area, money will be needed.  In 2006, Dan Pozza raised $332,113.70 and spent $327,620.50.

Oops, State Legislature

Part four of Oops continues with State Legislators who endorsed Rick Perry.

On the state senate side: Harvey Peeler (R-SC), State Sen. Majority Leader; and Don Gaetz (R-FL).

On the state house side: Daniel Logue (R-CA); Jeff Brandes (R-FL); Dean Cannon (R-FL), Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives; Matt Gaetz (R-FL); and Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-FL).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oops, Governors+ Version

Welcome to our third installment of Oops focusing on those elected officials and other high profile figures who endorsed Rick Perry for President.

This time we look at some statewide officeholders.  The person saying Oops who is probably the most disappointed by Perry dropping out is likely PBJ.  No not peanut butter and jelly.  Instead we mean Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, Governor of Louisiana.  No doubt PBJ likely had visions of the Vice-Presidency dancing in his head.

Other governors saying Oops are Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

One other statewide official also endorsed Perry: Mike Strain, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.

Breaking News: Democrats Liked the SOTU Speech, Republicans Didn't

So glad the Express-News has cleared that up for us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of the State House: HD 117

Incumbent: John Garza (R)

Primary Outlook: Tossup

General Election Outlook: Tossup-Lean Democratic

One of the places that left Democrats shell-shocked in 2010 was Bexar County.  Even in bad Democratic years, like 2002 and 2004, Democrats could usually be counted on to hold their own here…not so in 2010.  As a result, HD 117 incumbent David Leibowitz (D) was swept out by a little over 1000 votes, after previously winning election by 4200 votes (’06) and 7063 (’08 against John Garza).

This seat has had an interesting history for its current incarnation.  In 2002, incumbent John Longoria (D) decided not to run for re-election.  That year Ken Mercer (R) defeated Raul Prado (D).  No doubt helped by the fact that Prado was indicted just after early voting started.  In 2004, David Leibowitz (D) is second in a 3-way primary (first place went to Ken Mireles by 67 votes), wins the runoff on a margin of 388 votes, and defeats Mercer by 527 votes. Mercer leaves the Legislature and then goes on to run and win a seat on the State Board of Education.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oops, House Version

Previously we brought you the Oops, Senate Version.  Now we bring you the Oops, House Version.  So who were those U.S. House members that endorsed Rick Perry and must now say Oops?

From the home state of Texas we get 5 House members: John Carter, Mike Conaway, John Culberson, Jeb Hensarling, and Michael McCaul.

From around the country we have Mike Coffman (R-CO), Sam Graves (R-MO), Candice Miller (R-MI), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), and Steve Scalise (R-LA).

I Hate Mondays, but

I love Petula Clark.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oops Continued

From ABC News:
"I've known Gov. Rick Perry for a long time, and I am endorsing him because I know he is the strongest leader to run against and defeat President Obama. After three years of Obama's liberal agenda, Rick Perry is the right person to get America working again and turn our country in the right direction," Sen. Inhofe said in Tulsa, Okla., today. "We can't afford four more years of the Obama malaise. Look at what Rick Perry has done in his state. He is going to be a great president!"

Yes.  Look what Perry has done to Texas:

•  Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions  1st
•  Amount of Volatile Organic Compound Released into Air  1st
•  Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released into Water  1st
•  Amount of Recognized Cancer-Causing Carcinogens Released into Air   1st
•  Amount of Hazardous Waste Generated  1st
•  Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released into Air  5th
•  Amount of Recognized Cancer-Causing Carcinogens Released into Water  7th
•  Number of Hazardous Waste Sites on National Priority List  7th
•  Consumption of Energy per Capita  5th

Oops, U.S. Senate Version

The day has finally come...Rick Perry has realized that maybe God was sending him a different message when it came to running for President.

Now that Rick Perry has thoroughly embarrassed himself and the state of Texas, who are those supporters of his who now have to say Oops and realize they should have endorsed someone else.

First up for the Oops Moment is U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).  Every environmentalist's most loathed Republican now has to find another Republican candidate.  If global warming is a hoax senator, then so was Rick Perry's campaign for president.

Good Friday

In some good news...

San Antonio makes good strides towards becoming a No Kill city:

The City Council on Thursday unanimously approved the acceptance of a $1 million donation to Animal Care Services from pet specialty retailer Petco.

The donation will support animal rescue and welfare efforts and collaboration between ACS and two high-volume pet partners.

The Petco Foundation and the Petco Corp. will each donate $500,000 over five years. The donation is the largest single contribution in ACS' 60-year history, said Joe Angelo, Animal Care Services interim director.

“This is record-breaking,” Angelo said before the council session, which was attended by ACS partners and members of the animal care community.

“We have more animals left alive, and every month since (November) we have maintained a live release rate above 50 percent. So far, we're ahead, we have momentum, and the community is stepping forward to help.”

The council also approved contracts between ACS and the San Antonio Human Society and San Antonio Pets Alive!, The contracts are expected to increase ACS' live release rate by 7,000 additional rescues a year — up to 4,000 by Pets Alive!, up to 2,000 by the Humane Society, and 1,000 by local rescue groups. 
H-E-B continues to grow:

H-E-B will open its largest store in San Antonio this year and several in Northern Mexico as part of a plan that includes new construction, upgrades and expanded facilities, executives said this week.

The grocer will expand or open 22 stores in Texas and remodel 33 other locations, said Craig Boyan, H-E-B president and chief operating officer, including 15 in the city.
3 San Antonio businesses make the "Best to Work For" List: NuStar Energy LP, USAA, and Rackspace Hosting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Perry's Texas Popularity = Obama's Texas Popularity

How bad a Texas Republican do you have to be in this current political environment to be tied with President Obama in deep-red Texas?

Apparently this bad.

From Public Policy Polling:

Rick Perry had fallen so far by the end of his Presidential campaign that it's not even clear he could have defeated Barack Obama in Texas.  Our poll of the state last weekend found Perry leading Obama just 48-47, including a 51-44 deficit with independents. Perry had led Obama by 7 points on a September poll there.

Perry will come home to only a 42% approval rating, with 51% of voters disapproving of him. He's fallen from 78% to 67% favor with Republicans over the last four months, and independents split against him 35/59. By comparison Obama's approval rating in Texas is 44%, although his disapproval is also higher than Perry's at 54%.
For Democrats, it's becoming somewhat clear who we need to root for:
Our Texas Presidential poll is another reminder that a Gingrich surge would be very good news for President Obama. Obama actually holds a slight edge over him, 47-45. Only 33% of Texans have a favorable opinion of Gingrich to 53% with a negative one.

Perry drops out...Is he running for re-election?

Rick Perry drops out.  He places 5th in Iowa and it takes 2 weeks and 2 days, plus a 6th place finish in New Hampshire for him to realize he wasn't going to get the Republican nomination.

We bid Gov. Perry a fond farewell from the presidential race.