In late January, Glenn put up a post on this blog about Craig James’ claim that the Mike Leach firing at Texas Tech wouldn’t hurt his designs on Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat. James said, “I feel very confident about our position. Most people in Lubbock support my position. We did what any responsible parent would do. We did the right thing.”
Except not so much. The D.C.-based public opinion research firm Lincoln Park Strategies has conducted a poll of our friends in West Texas, and James doesn’t fare so well. For the poll, 401 likely general election 2012 voters in the West Texas metro regions of Lubbock, Odessa-Midland, and Amarillo were surveyed March 2 and 3. The findings:
Our early poll indicates that James would have quite a difficult path to victory in West Texas, as 62 percent of survey respondents have either never heard of him or do not know him well enough to form an opinion. Furthermore, only 8 percent hold a positive opinion of him, while 30 percent maintain an unfavorable view. These high unfavorable ratings this early in the contest will have a James campaign starting in the unenviable position of having to work to get his positive name identification up 22 points, just to break even with his detractors.
While the entire region is not overly friendly territory for Craig James, he has an especially acute problem the Lubbock area. Indeed, 52 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of James including 35 percent who are very unfavorable. Furthermore, 71 percent of voters in Lubbock with an opinion on the matter say Coach Leach did not deserve to be fired; which includes 29 percent of voters who put the blame squarely on James’ shoulders for using his influence at ESPN to have Leach fired.
In sum, these findings suggest that voters care about the Texas Tech issue and will weigh the situation as they consider supporting Craig James for Senate in 2012.