The Texas Senate runoff Republican primary is Tuesday, and according to a new Public Policy Polling survey, it looks likely that tea party candidate Ted Cruz is going to trounce the more establishment Republican David Dewhurst.
Cruz has a 10-point lead in the PPP poll, breaking the 50-percent threshold and up from a 5-point lead a couple weeks ago.
Cruz also holds a 63-33 advantage with voters who describe themselves as “very excited,” an important measure in a July runoff election where turnout will be low. The only reason Dewhurst is still somewhat competitive is because of a huge advantage among supporters that are “not that excited” to vote.
A telling sign from the poll is how much Gov. Rick Perry has fallen in public opinion since his failed Republican presidential bid. Perry endorsed Dewhurst in the primary race, but only 16 percent of voters said that was a good thing and would make them more likely to support Dewhurst. On the other hand, 35 percent said that made them less likely to support Dewhurst.
Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is a favorable endorser for Cruz. Thirty-one percent of Texas voters said they were more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Palin, compared with 24 percent who were less likely.
PPP’s Tom Jensen writes that runoff elections are usually very unpredictable. But all the momentum of the past couple of months has belonged to Cruz since he forced a runoff election in May.
Runoffs are unpredictable and it still seems possible that Dewhurst could win on Tuesday, but for now it looks like all the momentum since the primary has gone in Ted Cruz’s direction.