Poll Indicates Perry With Comfortable Lead

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas Governor Rick Perry has a big lead over a
host of rivals, according to a newspaper poll released today.

A statewide poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News has Perry,
the Republican incumbent, favored by 36 percent of voters.

He has twice the support of independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Democratic hopefuls Chris Bell and Bob Gammage.

Bell, a former U.S. representative, and Gammage, a former state
Supreme Court justice, are facing off in the Democratic primary
next month. Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman, who trails at ten
percent, are trying to get on the November ballot as independents.

Pollsters say Perry's lead may be weaker than it appears because
the field of pursuers is split.

They say another troubling sign is that voters support Perry despite not having a clear picture of his signature achievements.

The telephone poll of 1,482 registered voters has an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.

Among a smaller sampling of likely Democratic voters, Bell leads
Gammage 28-12 with 60 percent undecided.

The margin of error in that sampling is 5.5 percent.