But the poll also showed just how much Gov. Rick Perry's failing presidential campaign has hurt his standing among Texas Republicans — a group of voters that gave him a 20-point victory in the gubernatorial primary less than two years ago.
Here are the presidential preferences of Texas Republicans:
Mitt Romney: 24 percent
Newt Gingrich: 23 percent
Rick Perry: 18 percent
Rick Santorum: 15 percent
Ron Paul: 12 percent
In a one-on-one matchup with Romney, Texas Republicans prefer Romney, 46 percent to 45 percent. When PPP tested that same matchup in September, Perry led, 72-18.
Finally, 39 percent of Republicans said Perry's presidential candidacy has been bad for perceptions of the state, while 13 percent believe it's been a positive.
• State campaign finance reports came in Tuesday. This is not an exhaustive or fancy list, but let's look at some of the key numbers:
• Perry raised $1 million for his gubernatorial campaign in the second half of 2011, leaving him with $2.47 million in his state account.
• Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's state reports were not online early this morning.
• Attorney General Greg Abbott raised $2 million in the second half of the year and has $12 million. Here is my story from this morning's Statesman about how this total puts Abbott in a strong position to run for governor in two years, should he choose to.
• Comptroller Susan Combs' report has not been posted by the Texas Ethics Commission. But she said in a statement last week that she has $6 million on hand.
• Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples raised $600,000 and has $1.5 million on hand.
• Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson raised $261,000 and has $411,000 on hand. Pattterson, like Combs and Staples, is looking at a run for lieutenant governor in 2014.
• Rep. Dan Branch said in a release last night that he has $1.7 million in cash on hand. Branch is also taking a look at the 2014 lieutenant governor's race.
• Elizabeth Ames Jones raised $280,000 for her Texas Senate challenge to Sen. Jeff Wentworth and has $200,000 on hand. But she has not sent any money yet from her U.S. Senate campaign. And the Texans for Lawsuit Reform money hasn't started to flow to Ames Jones yet.
• Wentworth's report has not been posted, but he claims to have raised $400,000 for an upcoming fundraiser.
• We should know a lot more about various legislators later today.
• From the Statesman's Kate Alexander: "Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid came full circle Tuesday when he returned to the Response, the same type of Christian prayer gathering that he hosted to much fanfare in August. But much has changed since Perry drew more than 30,000 believers to Houston's Reliant Stadium shortly before announcing his presidential campaign. Several of the South Carolinians who heard the 'call to prayer for a nation in crisis' on Tuesday said they don't see Perry as the answer to those prayers."
• From Statesman columnist Ken Herman: "It looks like Mitt Romney has taken on the air of inevitability. You know, kind of like the Green Bay Packers and the Super Bowl. OK, so inevitability sometimes fades into evitability. But Romney's a serious enough threat to get the GOP presidential nomination that it's time to gauge whether he's humorous enough for those of us who have learned that you'll be disappointed if you expect anything more than entertainment from politicians. You might be surprised to learn that I rate Romney relatively high on the humor scale. And I'm talking about laughing with him, not at him (which we can do with all candidates)."
• Texas Tribune: "Following a legislative session where lawmakers slashed funding for family planning and targeted Planned Parenthood, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has released a much-reduced list of organizations that will receive state dollars to provide birth control, STD testing and cervical and breast cancer screenings for the state's poorest women. ... Left off the list of grant recipients is Planned Parenthood. The organization's efforts to access state funds for its clinics — which cannot provide abortions if they receive tax dollars — have been stymied by abortion opponents in the state Capitol, including Gov. Rick Perry and many members of the Republican-dominated Legislature. They believe any fiscal support of Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinics helps keep the organization afloat."
• Dallas Morning News: "Texas' political maps were drawn with bipartisan input and meet requirements to protect minority voters, the state's lawyers argued Tuesday at the start of a federal trial over redistricting. 'There's partisanship in Texas ... but Democratic members had enormous influence' on how the maps were drawn, said Adam Mortara, an attorney for the state. The U.S. Justice Department , along with minority groups and Democrats, has challenged the maps state lawmakers approved for upcoming U.S. House and Texas Legislature elections. They assert that the new maps violate the rights of Hispanic and black voters because they don't reflect huge growth in those communities."
• Politico: "Controversial anti-piracy legislation, already on life support in the House, is now in serious doubt in the Senate, where the confluence of a Republican rump rebellion, White House concerns and a Wednesday blackout by Wikipedia, Mozilla and other big-name websites is enough to give some senators second thoughts."
• Politico: "At the now-controversial meeting of evangelicals at a Texas ranch, influential evangelical leader James Dobson made a strong pitch for Rick Santorum's wife — and noted that Callista Gingrich was her husband's 'mistress for eight years,' questioning whether that's what people want in a first lady, three sources told POLITICO. The moment left several attendees at the confab at the Pressler ranch stunned, according to the sources."
• Washington Post: "As President Obama prepares to give his third State of the Union address next week, he faces a dispirited and polarized electorate that is sharply divided over his record, worried about the pace of the economic recovery and deeply pessimistic about the country's trajectory. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 9 percent of Americans see a strong economic recovery — a number that has hardly budged in more than two years. Twice as many say they are worse off financially since Obama became president than say their situations have improved. Slightly more than half the respondents — 52 percent — say Obama has accomplished "not much" or "little or nothing" as president, while 47 percent offer a positive assessment of his record. Those findings are identical to public attitudes two years ago. The president's ratings on a series of domestic and economic issues paint a portrait of an incumbent facing a difficult reelection campaign. Yet Obama has begun to recover from career lows in several important areas, including job creation, which is expected to be at the center of the debate in the general-election contest."
• Gallup daily tracking poll: Obama's job approval rate is 46 percent (no change) and his disapproval rate is 46 percent (-1).
• Gallup national GOP daily tracking poll: Romney 34, Santorum 15, Gingrich 15, Paul 12, Perry 6.