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Lots more Texas primary poll results

It’s a veritable plethora, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s start with this one, which looks good for Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz.

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has a commanding 12-point lead in his home state over businessman Donald Trump as the candidates head into Tuesday’s GOP presidential primary in Texas, according to a Texas Pulse/American-Statesman poll conducted Feb. 19 to 22. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is a distant third.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has an overwhelming 66 to 26 percent lead over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according to the poll of likely Texas voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research for Crosswind Media & Public Relations.

[…]

Among Texas Republicans, the poll found Cruz was first with 38 percent to 26 percent for Trump, 13 percent for Rubio, 7 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 6 percent for Dr. Ben Carson. The survey was conducted before and after Saturday’s South Carolina primary, but it concluded before Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses. In both of those contests, Trump won handily with Rubio in second and Cruz a close third.

With the race in flux, polling on the Texas GOP primary has been erratic. An Emerson College survey also released Wednesday found Cruz and Trump virtually tied in the Lone Star State, suggesting that Cruz’s home-field advantage might be eroding after a string of disappointing finishes and bad headlines.

Nonetheless, Cruz’s presidential bid has more home state support than it did in the early stages of the campaign. In a Texas Pulse survey conducted Sept. 11-14, Trump led with 26 percent, Carson was second with 19 percent, Cruz had 15 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race after a poor performance in South Carolina, had 9 percent.

[…]

In the Democratic primary, Clinton’s 40-point lead over Sanders in the Texas Pulse/Statesman survey is far greater than her advantage in other recent polls. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll conducted Feb. 12-19 showed her with a 10-point lead, and a Public Policy Polling survey from Feb. 14-16 had her up by 23 points.

Thomas Graham, president and CEO of Crosswind, said the Pulse poll might be reflecting increased campaign activity by Clinton in the past few days. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife in Laredo on Monday.

“Team Hillary has really invested in Texas,” Graham said. “There’s been a lot of activity from Hillary’s campaign just in the last couple of days, and I think we’re seeing a result of that.”

My original response to that was “maybe it’s an outlier”, but as you will see from the other results, if it is it’s only by a little. Full poll results are here, and you can see more about the other polls mentioned here and here. For what it’s worth, this poll sampled more Rs than Ds, 620 to 411, but that basically means a 4% margin of error for one and a 5% MOE for the other, so it’s not that big a deal. I do think this poll overstates Clinton’s lead, but it’s clear she has a lead, whereas the GOP side is a bit muddled.

Offering support to both of those statements are two more polls I found via Real Clear Politics. First is this SurveyUSA poll of Texas:

In his home state of Texas, US Senator Ted Cruz cannot shake businessman Donald Trump and his New York values, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for TEGNA Texas. Cruz’s best shot at a Super Tuesday win looks at this hour like he may do no better than a draw. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton defeats Bernie Sanders 2:1. In the Republican Primary, it’s Cruz 32%, Trump 32%, Marco Rubio 17%, others further back. Cruz narrowly leads Trump among Texas’s Hispanic/Latino population, 34% to 27%. Cruz materially leads Trump among Texas’s evangelicals, 42% to 28%. Cruz overwhelmingly leads Trump among those who are members of the Tea Party, 62% to 21%. Cruz leads by 11 points in West Texas, which includes El Paso, Midland and 88 surrounding counties, and by a nominal 3 points in East Texas, which includes Houston and 60 surrounding counties. Cruz leads by 20 points among “very conservative” primary voters. Cruz overpowers Trump among Texas Republican primary voters who in 2012 voted for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. Trump leads among voters who in 2012 backed Mitt Romney or Ron Paul. Trump leads by 16 points among “moderates” and by 14 points among non-evangelical voters. Trump leads in North Texas, which includes Dallas and 43 surrounding counties, and Trump leads among the least educated Republican primary voters. Trump leads among the most affluent Texans, but Cruz leads among middle-income primary voters. In Central TX, which includes Austin, San Antonio, and 28 surrounding counties, the two candidates run effectively even.

[…]

In the Democratic Primary, it’s Clinton 61%, Sanders 32%. Sanders is backed by 58% of the youngest voters, but Clinton is backed by 70% of middle-aged voters and 82% of seniors. Clinton leads Sanders 4:1 among black voters and Clinton leads Sanders by 40 points among Hispanic voters. Sanders draws near to Clinton, but still trails, among Democratic primary voters who say they are “falling behind” financially. But Clinton overpowers among voters who say they are “doing well” financially or “just getting by.” Of those Democratic primary voters who voted for Clinton in 2008, 86% stick with her in 2016. Among Democratic primary voters who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, Clinton leads Sanders 58% to 33%. Clinton polls at or above 60% in North TX, East TX, Central TX and South TX. Sanders comes close to Clinton in West TX, but still trails her there 48% to 42%.

SUSA does polling of “all adults”, then winnows it down to “likely voters” from there. You can see their data at the link above. Also via RCP is this Dixie Strategies poll:

The latest KTVT-CBS 11 / Dixie Strategies Poll of more than 1,400 likely primary voters in Texas shows Republican Ted Cruz has increased his lead over real estate mogul Donald Trump. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has maintained her lead over Senator Bernie Sanders — though that lead has shrunk a bit.

Looking at the statewide results — according to the poll taken Monday February 22 — Cruz now leads Trump by more than eight percentage points. At the end of January, Cruz was leading by five percentage points. More than 33% of likely GOP primary voters now say they would vote for Ted Cruz while 25% of respondents say they would vote for Trump.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio comes in third at about 15%. That’s almost 3% higher than his poll result back in January.

Dr. Ben Carson and Ohio Governor John Kasich are polling in single digits with Carson remaining largely unchanged at 6% while Kasich pulls ahead of Carson at 8%. That’s compared to 5% and 2% in January’s poll respectively.

[…]

Among likely Democrat primary voters in Texas, Senator Sander’s support has doubled but Clinton maintained her large lead according to the poll numbers. Back in January, almost 16% said they would vote for him. That number now stands at 29%. Clinton still leads Sanders by a wide margin at 61% to 30%. But the gap has closed somewhat between the two candidates. Back in January, 34 points separated the two. That gap has closed to 31 points.

As noted, they did a January poll as well, though that result is no longer counted in the RCP average. Last but not least, coming it later in the day yesterday, is the Monmouth University poll.

Ted Cruz currently has the support of 38% of likely GOP primary voters in his home state of Texas. Donald Trump (23%) and Marco Rubio (21%) are battling it out for second place. They are trailed by Ben Carson (6%) and John Kasich (5%).

Cruz has more support among men (44%) than women (33%), while Rubio has more support among women (24%) than men (18%). Trump draws equally from male (22%) and female (23%) voters in the Lone Star State.

[…]

Texas allows early voting and 18% of those polled report having already cast their vote. Nearly half (44%) of these early voters checked Cruz’s name on their ballots. Another 30% of likely Republican voters say they are completely decided on their candidate choice before they head to the polls and 30% have a strong preference but are still open to considering other candidates. One-in-five either have only a slight preference (8%) or are really undecided (13%) just days before Tuesday’s election.

Cruz would maintain his double digit lead if the race was down to three candidates, earning 43% in a hypothetical match up against just Rubio (26%) and Trump (23%). He could potentially do even better (49%) if the race was against just Trump (28%) and Kasich (15%).

When Texas Republicans are asked if they would be okay with any of the five remaining candidates becoming the party’s nominee, half (50%) say yes and 7% are not sure. Nearly 3-in-10 (28%),
though, say they would be upset if Trump won the nomination. Around 1-in-10 or less say they would be upset if Cruz (12%), Kasich (12%), Rubio (8%), or Carson (6%) got the nod.

This is why I wish there were also some general election polling. I mean, just exactly how upset would those voters be? Enough to say they’re “undecided” in such a poll, or enough to say they’d vote for the Democrat? It’s one thing to have Hillary Clinton run varying amounts behind each of these three candidates but getting about the same level of support in each case, and it’s another to see her support jump six points when matched up against The Donald.

Hillary Clinton currently holds a substantial 64% to 30% lead over Bernie Sanders in the Texas Democratic primary. In 2008, Clinton narrowly beat Barack Obama in this state by a 51% to 47% margin.

Clinton currently enjoys solid leads among black (81% to 8%) and Latino (68% to 32%) voters, and also has an edge among white voters (54% to 40%). She has a sizable lead among women (75% to 19%) and a small lead among men (50% to 45%). She leads among voters age 50 and over (75% to 20%) and also leads among those under the age of 50 (52% to 42%) – a group that Sanders has done well with in past primaries. One factor that boosts Clinton’s support with all these groups is that nearly 6-in-10 likely Democratic voters in Texas describe themselves as politically moderate or conservative rather than liberal. Sanders tends to do better among liberals.

“Texas was good to Hillary Clinton eight years ago and she looks set to do even better this time around,” said Murray.

More than 3-in-4 Lone Star Democrats say that Clinton would do either an excellent (32%) or good (45%) job addressing the most important concerns of families like theirs. This compares to just over half who say the same about Sanders (22% excellent and 33% good).

One-in-five voters (21%) say they have already cast their ballots in the Democratic primary and another 41% say they have completely decided on their candidate choice. A slightly higher number of Clinton voters say they have already voted (24%) or their choice is locked in (44%) when compared to Sanders supporters (18% already voted and 41% completely decided). Another 19% of Democrats have a strong preference but are still open to considering other candidates and 7% have only a slight preference, while 12% say they are still really undecided.

These four results today have been very good for Clinton’s lead over Sanders in the RCP average, which now stands at 59.9 to 33.6. There are now seven polls counted in that – the four from today, the Emerson College and UT/Trib polls, and the multi-state PPP poll from right before early voting started. On the Republican side, the RCP average shows Cruz up on Trump 34.0 to 26.8, with Rubio at 18.2. And as we know by now, finishing third is a win for him. The GOP-only KUHF poll plus all of these others are included in the RCP average for the GOP. Whatever else you can say, you can no longer say there’s a dearth of data.

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2 Comments

  1. Mainstream says:

    I think Rubio will do better than these polls indicate. To get any delegates on Tuesday in Texas, a candidate must either place second in a congressional district, or get greater than 20% of the statewide vote. My prediction is that a number of supporters of Kasich and former candidates like Bush, Christie, Walker, Graham, Pataki will strategically vote for Rubio.

  2. PDiddie says:

    Rubio indeed seems to be gathering some momentum, if social media and frenetic rallies are any indication. He had the best debate performance (even if he did not quite kneecap Trump).

    But if he can’t win his home state in two weeks, he’s got nothing.

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