A newly released Texas poll provides what appears to be bad news for first-term Senator Ted Cruz (R). A closer looks portends a different conclusion, however.
The Texas Lyceum leadership organization released its annual poll regarding issues and attitudes (mostly about immigration) of the Lone Star State population and found the incumbent trailing one potential Democratic challenger, while being locked in a tie with his announced opponent.
According to this survey (4/3-9; 1,000 TX adults; conducted by University of Texas professors), San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) leads Sen. Cruz, 35-31%, in a hypothetical 2018 general election pairing. Against announced Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democratic Congressman, Cruz and he tie at 30% preference.
But, this is not a poll of likely, or even registered, voters. The 1,000 sample is a microcosm of the entire Texas population, a complexion far different from its registered voter base. Using the Census estimates as a basis, the minority population dominates the survey’s sampling group.
Capturing the weighted racial segmentation, 57% of the grouping is Hispanic, African American, or a member of another racial sector. The remaining 43% is non-Hispanic white, or Anglo.
Such a sample, while being wholly representative of the Texas population is far from accurately depicting how the state’s voter base, an electorate that last elected a Democrat to any statewide office in 1990, projects to vote in next year’s election.
While Rep. O’Rourke is an announced candidate, and will likely construct a viable campaign, Rep. Castro is unlikely to run despite him saying he will decide in the next several weeks. At this point, irrespective of the conclusions derived from this non-political poll briefly venturing into a partisan campaign, Sen. Cruz remains a decided favorite for re-election.