Austin American-Statesman: Dewhurst leads, but Cruz gaining in new poll
By Team Cruz
Originally posted in the Austin American-Statesman
By Jason Embry
A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst continues to lead the Republican field of candidates hoping to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz is gaining on him.
David Dewhurst: 36 percent
Ted Cruz: 18 percent
Tom Leppert: 7 percent
Craig James: 4 percent
In the group’s September poll, Dewhurst’s support was 41 percent and Cruz’s was 12 percent. So Cruz appears to be separating himself a bit from the other non-Dewhurst candidates.
That’s important, because if no candidate gets more than half the votes in the primary, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff. And in a low-turnout runoff, some of the Dewhurst’s natural advantages — name identification and money — would probably matter less than in a higher-turnout primary.
In a debate last week sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Empower Texans, Cruz consistently went after Dewhurst, arguing that the lieutenant governor is insufficiently conservative.
Among the 29 percent of respondents who have an opinion about Cruz, he leads Dewhurst, 34-31. This gives Cruz hope that he can compete with Dewhurst if voters get to know him.
James, the former football player and analyst, jumped into the race last month. Only 30 percent of respondents said they had heard of James, with 11 percent saying they view him positively and 19 percent saying they view him negatively.
Public Policy Polling is a Democratic firm based in North Carolina.