Ouch. About all Rick Perry has going for him is his state’s economic environment during his tenure. And according to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll it seems even his constituents don’t think his policies created it.
A key part of Gov. Rick Perry’s pitch to Republican presidential primary voters is the performance of the state’s economy — especially in job creation — during his tenure as governor. But Texas voters, for the most part, are more likely to see him as a bystander to the state’s success than its driver, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.
Asked about the factors behind the state economy’s relative strength, 65 percent of those responding attributed it to long-standing advantages such as the state’s wealth of natural resources, its balanced budget, the absence of a state personal income tax and a lenient regulatory environment. Another 21 percent cited Perry’s leadership in promoting lower taxes, lenient regulation and small government as the main reason the Texas economy has fared better than the national economy.
This is unsurprising when you consider that the “Texas miracle” was anything but, unless you are prepared to give Ann Richards the GOP nomination as well (her job creation rate was similar to Perry’s during her tenure, and George W. Bush’s was better). When you take out the stimulus funds that Perry used to plug the shortfall in his state’s budget his record is even shakier. This poll reaffirms what we have been saying for some time now. Perry’s record does not hold up under scrutiny.
Before you posit that the poll must have been incorrectly sampled, 52% of the respondents claimed to be from slightly to strongly conservative. Only 17% identified themselves as liberal and 25% were “in the middle.” The fact is that the conditions that helped Texas succeed during the recession have been in place for many years. Add lavish portions of stimulus money to the equation and you have yourself a genuine smoke and mirrors candidate.