Former Republican Party Chair Allen West’s (R) campaign released an internal poll (PDF via Texas Tribune) showing him leading Gov. Greg Abbott (R), 38%-33%, among “likely primary voters.” The poll was conducted by the Joe Basel-owned Paradigm. Basel is the former head of the American Phoenix Foundation, which is known by the Capitol crowd for claiming in 2015 to have hundreds of hours of video footage documenting ethical lapses by legislators and lobbyists.

As such, the poll numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Or a salt lick.

The poll memo includes topline results from four prior polls, the most recent of which showed West leading Abbott, 35%-33%, well within the poll’s margin of error. Looking at those toplines, it appears that Springtown IT support technician Rick Perry’s entry into the race took supporters almost exclusively from Abbott. In the poll released today (Wednesday), Perry received support from 12% of respondents. Former Sen. Don Huffines (5%) and Arlington talk show host Chad Prather (3%) were the only other candidates polling above 1%.

The memo includes results from six questions about scorecard conservative group issues, all phrased the same way as this example: “Do you feel Gov. Abbott has done enough to keep Texas from being the number one state for Human and Sex Trafficking?” [capitals theirs]. The percent of respondents saying “no” ranges from 69% to 78%.

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