Gallup: Cain Up. Perry Down.

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I’m a bit shocked by this latest polling detail from Gallup about the GOP presidential field: 

The upward trend continues in Republicans’ ratings of presidential candidate Herman Cain, as does the downward trend in their ratings of Rick Perry. Cain’s Positive Intensity Score has increased to 34 among Republicans familiar with him, while Perry’s has dropped to 7 in Gallup’s latest update. Cain’s score is the best any candidate has registered during the campaign this year.

This chart shows how that score — the percentage of survey respondents with strongly favorable opinions of the candidates minus those with strongly negative opinions — has changed over time. Perry has dropped dramatically among Republicans who recognize him since Gallup began tracking him in July:

Meanwhile, Cain has steadily increased his name recognition among the GOP surveyed by Gallup: 

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Analyzing Two Rick Perry Speeches: 1998 vs. 2011

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I stumbled upon Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement speech from his 1998 race for lieutenant governor, arguably my former state’s most powerful political job. Back then, his candidacy centered on “safe streets, effective schools, and economic opportunity.”

Here are the top 50 most used words in the speech (made in Aggie Maroon for Perry’s alma mater). Texas, obviously, is used often, and so are effective, opportunity, future: 

This next example below visualizes Perry’s announcement last month that he was entering the presidential race. The national economy is among the top issues in the race, so it’s no surprise that America/Americans and jobs are used often: 

Both speeches are relatively heavy on the word “government,” but with a somewhat different emphasis. In 1998, Perry believe that “government” can and should be “effective” and “efficient,” according to this word tree, a Many Eyes tool that puts specific words in context by connecting them with nearby sentence strings. He also talked about regulations that “interfere” with “consumers and producers.”

Last month, Perry said “government” has “prolonged our national misery” and is “spreading the wealth,” according to the text of his presidential announcement. He said government had an “insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritances.”

Of course, 12 years have passed. 

Lastly, one thing I’ve noticed in recent years is that Perry tends to use the word “get” frequently in his speeches. I’m not sure why. Here’s the presidential announcement speech. Notice that “get America working,” part of his campaign slogan, is used several times: 

Visualizing Rick Perry’s ‘Fed Up’

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Here’s an oldie but goodie from my previous job at The Texas Tribune — a word cloud of the Gov. Perry’s 2010 book, Fed Up:  

“We obtained a digital copy of the book, which has 56,393 words (excluding footnotes and Newt Gingrich’s foreword), and created the cloud below. Not surprisingly, Perry uses ‘federal,’ ‘government,’ ‘people,’ ‘Washington’ and ‘states’ most often.”

Made with Wordle

Gov. Rick Perry and Jobs

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

On the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Rick Perry is touting the Texas’ relatively low unemployment rate. Here’s how the rate has changed during his decade in office. It wasn’t until 2007 that Texas’ jobs picture looked better than the country as a whole: 

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UPDATE: Following a reader’s suggestion, I added Texas’ neighboring states, who also have unemployment rates lower than the nation as a whole: 

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UPDATE: William M. Hartnett just posted his own viz to Twitter:

Texas unemployment rate compared to New York and Massachusetts, famously low-tax, low-regulation states: (via @stiles)

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Rick Perry: Fundraiser

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, is officially in the presidential race, reporters are noting his campaign fundraising prowess as a possible strength that could propel him to the GOP nomination: 

But it is a credential Mr. Perry is unlikely to highlight that could make him the most formidable entrant in the Republican race so far: he is among the top political fund-raisers in the country, with a vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions, and he has the potential to energize Republican donors who have shown only limited enthusiasm for the candidates already in the race.

Indeed, Perry has raised more than $100 million in his decade-long tenure as governor, including $39 million in the his 2010 re-election effort, according to electronic campaign reports in Texas.

Here are his fundraising totals by year: 

And a breakdown of how much he’s raised from individual donors versus entities, such as law firms and political action committees: 

Nine in 10 dollars collected by Perry came from Texas donors, but he has raised money from every state (darker shades represent higher dollar amounts): 

Here’s a map that visualizes totals donated per household in each state. You can see that Colorado, Delaware and Washington, D.C., gave at higher proportions than other states (except for Texas, of course): 

Finally, here’s a word cloud that highlights the most common donor occupations listed by Perry’s campaigns over the years, eliminating the phrase “Best Efforts.” The latter phrase is required in state law if a campaign can’t identify a donor’s occupation. (The Perry team has done that quite a bit over the years). 

Download data: CSV

Once, Twice, Three Times a Governor

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

A cross post from my work blog:

Most people know that Gov. Rick Perry, inaugurated to a third full term Tuesday, has served longer than any other chief executive in Texas history.

What’s remarkable, though, is just how much longer than the state’s previous governors — even those who’ve served during the modern era, according to historical data maintained by the Legislative Research Library.

This bar chart illustrates that longevity, which now spans more than a decade in office. No previous governor has served more than eight years, not even since the early 1970s, when the late Dolph Briscoe became the first governor under a new four-year gubernatorial term.

Perry has served four years longer than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who left early to serve as president. And he’s served twice as long as 40 previous governors, including Ann Richards, Mark White and Bill Clements (who, in fairness, served two non-consecutive four-year terms). Since 1846, the average length of time in office for Texas governors is 3.5 years.

Assuming Perry doesn’t run for president, or leave office early, he will have served Texas longer than the late Franklin D. Roosevelt served as president. FDR’s tenure lasted just over 12 years.

Data: CSV