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%. It is unclear from the memo where those questions were positioned relative to the horse race questions, but the memo repeatedly references “low information voters.” Given the way the questions were worded, the possibility that this was a push poll cannot be dismissed.

The poll of 1,486 likely Republican primary voters who voted in at least two of the last four Republican primaries was conducted via a mix of text messaging and IVR landline calls. It was in the field on January 9 and has a stated margin of error of ±2.54%.

LAND open (Likely R): Former Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) endorsed Jay Kleberg (D).

HD63 open (Likely R): Denton Co. Sheriff Tracy Murphee (R) endorsed Flower Mound council member Ben Bumgarner (R).

CD35 open (Safe D): U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth) endorsed Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin).

Tarrant Co.: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) endorsed police officer Manny Ramirez for Tarrant Co. Commissioner P4. Ramirez faces Fort Worth entrepreneur Larry Dale Carpenter Jr. and Tarrant Co. Constable Jody Johnson (R) in the primary.

Dallas: Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is resigning, reportedly to run for mayor in 2023. Mayor Eric Johnson has not indicated whether he will seek re-election.

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