AUSTIN — A new poll blasted as deeply flawed by some candidates in the 2010 governor's race shows that incumbent Rick Perry holds a 12-point lead over Republican primary challenger Kay Bailey Hutchison and that author-entertainer Kinky Friedman is the front-runner among Democrats.
Perry had 42 percent compared with 30 percent for Hutchison, the state's senior U.S. senator, among likely voters in the March 2 primary, according to the inaugural University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Former Wharton County Republican Chairwoman Debra Medina had 7 percent.
Among Democrats, Friedman led with 19 percent. Next were Fort Worth attorney Tom Schieffer with 10 percent; former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who is considering joining the race, with 5 percent; and Mark Thompson, who ended his candidacy Monday, with 3 percent.
Rounding out the field were Fort Worth educator Felix Alvarado, with 2 percent, and Whitehouse rancher Hank Gilbert, with 0.3 percent.
For a hypothetical special election for Hutchison's Senate seat, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Houston Mayor Bill White and former Comptroller John Sharp were in a three-way tie within the survey's margin of error.
The survey helped launch the Tribune, a nonprofit online news publication. But as candidates digested the results, Hutchison's and Gilbert's campaigns assailed the methodology and said the results were seriously flawed.
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