Thursday, January 25, 2018

Could Texas Boot Ted Cruz Out Of The Senate ?

Texas is still a very red state, and in a normal year the Republican Senate candidate would be far ahead of any Democrat in the polls -- especially an incumbent Republican. But that is not the case right now. Ted Cruz only leads a largely unknown Democratic candidate by 8 points (with 18% still undecided).

That's a significant lead, but not insurmountable. Part of this is because Cruz is not well-liked in Texas in spite of being the incumbent Republican. His favorable rating is upside-down by 11 points (38% to 49%). If O'Rourke becomes better known (and is liked by voters), he could make up that 8 point deficit. And being Hispanic, he could be helped by a large turnout in South Texas.

This is also a year in which the mid-term election might well be a vote against Donald Trump (even though he's not running). That would hurt Cruz. Something else that could hurt him is his acceptance of corporate PAC money (already over $1.3 million) while O'Rourke accepts no PAC or special interest money.

It won't be easy, and it will definitely be an uphill battle -- but I'm starting to believe this just might be possible. O'Rourke is very likable and a good campaigner, and if he gets enough money from individuals to properly introduce himself to the voters, he could be the person that boots Cruz out of the Senate.

The questions and percentages above are from a new Public Policy Polling survey -- done on January 17th and 18th of a random sample of 757 Texas voters.

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