More good news out of Texas:
The path to reelection for Senator Ted Cruz R-TX may not be the walk in the park one would expect for a Republican in Texas politics. That according to the latest CBS 11 / Dixie Strategies Poll released Wednesday. Cruz is running against Democrat challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke D-El Paso.
Data also shows that both President Donald Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott appear to enjoy broad support from Texans, especially Republicans.
Likely voters in Texas were asked who they would vote for if the election for U.S. Senate were held today. While Cruz is ahead in the poll with only four points separating him from O’Rourke, the result is a statistical tie – within the margin of error of 4.3%. Of all likely voters in Texas surveyed, 46% of respondents said they would vote for Ted Cruz while 42% said they would vote for O’Rourke.
“Nearly 21% of voters do not have an opinion of Congressman O’Rourke,” said Brian Graham, Managing Partner of Dixie Strategies. “This is problematic as Senator Cruz can easily define him and capture those undecided voters.”
The poll which included 519 likely voters in Texas shows Cruz currently has a favorable rating of 52% compared to O’Rourke’s 45%.
“Senator Cruz is in a race that is tighter than it should be, considering Texas is a conservative state,” said Graham. “While Cruz is popular among Republicans, he is not so with Democrats. He also needs to improve his numbers among voters with no party affiliation.”
Graham said if Cruz wants to widen his lead over O’Rourke, he will have to “define him” by running a number of negative ads against him.
Graham said he thinks that once the campaign heats up in Texas, the gap between Cruz and O’Rourke will likely widen. But he also said that Cruz will have to ‘define’ O’Rourke. Graham thinks Cruz may have to run a number of negative ads if the incumbent expects to increase his lead over O’Rourke.
Of independent voters – those voters with no party affiliation (NPA) – 53% viewed Cruz unfavorably while 38% viewed O’Rourke unfavorably.
Graham said gaining the independent vote could present a challenge for Cruz.
But an expected visit to the state of Texas by President Trump could give the Cruz campaign a shot in the arm.
“The President is doing relatively well in Texas, compared to his national numbers,” said Graham. “His approval with Republicans, particularly his very favorable numbers are especially impressive. Meanwhile his very unfavorable numbers with Democrats are also something to note.”
According to the poll, 91% of Republican voters surveyed view President Trump favorably. Among all Texas voters, Mr. Trump enjoys a 51% favorability rating. Conversely, 84% of Democrat respondents said they view the President unfavorably.
Graham said this data reflects why a Trump rally can mean a lot for Cruz. “His popularity with Republicans is precisely why the President’s endorsement in Republican primaries is so potent,” said Graham.
It should be noted that this is one of the few polls where Trump performs way better than Cruz in Texas. The other poll to come out today also showed a tight, single-digit race:
Austin, TX – In a sign of just how crucial the millennial vote might be in the upcoming mid-term elections, a statewide poll released Tuesday shows Ted Cruz leading 47 percent to Beto O’Rourke’s 44 percent among likely Texas voters. Forty-nine percent of Texans between the age of 18-39 identify as supporting O’Rourke, while Cruz’s strongest support comes from voters ages 40 and above.
The Crosswind Texas Pulse Poll also hinted at some dissatisfaction toward Cruz from his own party: While the poll indicates an almost-equal party vote – with 81 percent Republicans favoring Cruz and 83 percent Democrats for his opponent – a surprising 15 percent of Republicans indicated their intent to vote for the Democrat. Forty-six percent of respondents who did not identify with either major party signaled their intent to vote for O’Rourke, versus 39 percent of non-affiliated or independent voters intending to pull the lever for Cruz.
Fifty-five percent of Hispanic voters and 57 percent of Black voters also expressed an intent to vote for O’Rourke, while 52 percent of white voters indicated their support for Cruz. However, 56 percent of voters who do not identify as white, Hispanic or Black also responded positively for Cruz. Only slightly more women overall support O’Rourke than Sen. Cruz, at 47 versus 42 percent.
“Texans are in for a nail-biter that has national implications,” said Crosswind CEO Thomas Graham. “O’Rourke is showing surprisingly strong support in traditionally red-state Texas, and Cruz has the edge in organization at this point, but clearly O’Rourke is gaining some ground.”
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