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Texas Watch Poll: Perry 42%, White 41%; Voters Say Home Insurance Reform Is Big Issue

Via Texas Watch FoundationPosted September 7, 2010
Issues:

A statewide public opinion survey conducted by Republican polling firm Hill Research Consultants on behalf of the Texas Watch Foundation reveals an electorate divided between incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry (42%) and Democratic challenger Bill White (41%), with a significant bloc of voters (14%) still uncommitted to either candidate. Additionally, across partisan, ideological and geographic lines, broad support is expressed for homeowners’ insurance reform proposals.

Results with Key Cross-Tabs & Findings
Full Cross-Tab Results
Full Questionnaire with Results

  • Prior Approval,” requiring companies submit and justify rate increases for review by the Department of Insurance before they could go in to effect, not after (73% approve vs. 17% disapprove);
  • Fair Claims,” giving consumers stronger legal remedies and enhancing damages and sanctions if companies unfairly deny, delay, or underpay legitimate claims (77% approve vs. 12% disapprove);
  • Uniform Standards,” requiring companies offer a few standard policies written in plain language that would be consistent across the industry (85% approve vs. 7% disapprove);
  • Neutral Review,” prohibiting insurance companies from using a person’s credit rating when deciding whether to charge higher prices or deny coverage (52% approve vs. 37% disapprove);
  • Direct Election,” making the Insurance Commissioner a state-wide elected position chosen by voters, rather than appointed by the Governor (84% approve vs. 11% disapprove).

Most notably, by championing these reforms, both Perry and White could increase support within their own respective political bases while simultaneously appealing to the key bloc of still undecided voters as well.

“In terms of elected officials and candidates running for office in Texas… would you personally be more likely to vote for them or less likely to vote for them if they supported insurance reforms like prior approval, direct election, neutral review, uniform standards and fair claims?”
MORE likely margin LESS likely
Voting for Perry 71% + 56 points more-likely 15
Voting for White 81% + 71 points more-likely 10
Undecided Voters 66% + 58 points more-likely 8

“Voters want leaders to stand tall on insurance reform,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the Texas Watch Foundation, an Austin-based consumer-advocacy 501(c)(3) that commissioned the survey. “Candidates cannot hide from this issue. Texans are looking for leaders to deliver results that will hold insurance companies accountable for their prices, coverage, and claims handling.”

Questionnaire design, fielding and analysis was conducted by Hill Research Consultants, a Republican firm that has worked with over a half-dozen state governors, more than a dozen United states Senators, over two dozen members of Congress, in excess of 100 members of state legislatures, and the RNC, NRSC and Republican party organizations in more than a dozen individual states. To avoid bias, particular care was taken to carefully order questions and use neutral language when describing legislative proposals. Final results and cross-tabular datasets are being made available to the media, legislators and members of the general public for thorough examination. To receive a copy, email dbenzion@hillresearch.com.

600 Texas voters — August 25-29, 2010 — live telephone interviewers — margin of error + 4.0%

Contact for Comment on Survey Results Contact for Comment on Insurance Issues
David Benzion, Senior Research Analyst
281-727-0341 / dbenzion@hillresearch.com
Alex Winslow, Executive Director
512-381-1111 / nawinslow@texaswatch.org
Research & Reports
Research & Reports

The Texas Watch Foundation, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, conducts research and public education activities on consumer law, consumer protection and civil justice issues. Read More »

Court Watch
Court Watch

Court Watch, a program of the Foundation, documents the role and impact of the Texas civil court system on Texas families and Texas public policy. Read More »