In 2002, for example, when Mr. Perry was elected to his first full term after succeeding George W. Bush, his margin of victory was 18 percentage points. That holds up pretty well against other Republican candidates for statewide office that year (excluding those who did not draw a Democratic challenger), who won by an average of 15 percentage points. . . .Perry was elected in a four-way race with 39% of the vote. Democrat Chris Bell came in second with 29%, and was followed by two Independents, Carole Keeton Strayhorn (18%) and Kinky Friedman (12%).
Mr. Perry’s performance in 2006 was much more tenuous: he was re-elected with just 39 percent of the vote in a complicated, four-way race. Even if we ignore that and instead look at Mr. Perry’s nine-point margin of victory over his nearest rival, Chris Bell, a Democrat, it compares unfavroably to other Republicans on the ballot that year, who won by an average of 15 points.
Aug 17, 2011
In a post pondering Rick Perry's Electability, Nate Silver looks back over his record, and notes as an aside the "complicated four way race" for Texas governor in 2006. Excerpt: