AUSTIN &mdash: After rising from obscurity to become a significant factor in the three-way Republican race for governor, candidate Debra Medina appears to be losing ground after her remarks in a national radio interview about the 9-11 terrorist attacks, according to two public opinion surveys released Tuesday.
Medina dropped 4 percentage points in a survey of likely voters in Tuesday's Republican primary. The survey by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C., showed Gov. Rick Perry with 40 percent, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with 31 percent and Medina with 20 percent. Medina had 24 percent in a poll the firm released Feb. 9.
The survey assessed the impact of Medina's remarks in a Feb. 11 radio interview with conservative commentator Glenn Beck. Under questioning by Beck, the conservative GOP activist did not immediately disavow a theory that the U.S. government was involved in 9-11.
Medina quickly sought to clarify her remarks and said she was set up by opponents.
"Our polling suggests that the Glenn Beck interview is really hurting her," poll director Tom Jensen said in a telephone interview
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