Texas Gov. Rick Perry has his largest lead over former Houston Mayor Bill White thus far in the campaign, according to a new statewide poll for KENS 5 and Texas Belo television stations.
That's the highlight of a telephone poll conducted last week questioning 1,000 likely Texas voters about their preferences in the Texas gubernatorial race and other campaign issues.
With just about four weeks until the November election, the poll found that Perry is putting distance between himself and White.
The current lead is 50 percent to 36 percent. That's the largest margin by Perry so far in this campaign.
Nine percent of voters remain undecided. Another three percent of the likely vote goes to third-party candidates. The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 3.7 percent.
Perry has his largest lead in West Texas, the Rio Grande Valley and -- surprisingly -- here in San Antonio, where the poll shows Perry getting 49 percent of the vote to White's 36 percent.
White has spent a lot of time and money campaigning in San Antonio, his home town, but the poll shows the momentum remaining with Perry.
"Gov. Perry starts out his campaign with a big advantage," said David Iannelli of Public Strategies, which conducted the poll. "That is, counter to the rest of the nation, the majority of Texans think the state is heading in the right direction."
Our poll shows 52 percent of voters think the state is heading in the right direction.
So, what are the concerns of Texas voters heading into November?
Our exclusive poll shows the economy is Texans' top priority. When asked to volunteer their biggest concerns, the economy and jobs were No. 1, immigration and border security were second and education was third.
Across the board, the KENS 5 poll shows voters believe Perry would do the best job handling the state's top issues.
Perry also has a higher favorability rating than White. 56 percent of likely voters give the governor a favorable rating to White's 46 percent.
The poll also reveals the voters' opinion about whether Perry should run for president. The question has been brought up a lot on the campaign trail, and 51 percent of Texans polled say they do not want Perry to pursue the White House.