A new poll puts Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst ahead in the Texas GOP Senate primary, but the campaign of Ted Cruz — you know him, you’ve seen him on the cover of NR — thinks the trends look good for their man.
As Cruz’s campaign manager, John Drogin, puts it:
These poll results dovetail with the Azimuth poll released two weeks ago. That poll showed Cruz and Dewhurst statistically tied (Cruz 32, Dewhurst 31) among the most active primary voters. That, too, is very encouraging; it shows that when voters hear Ted’s message, it resonates, and the most informed voters are trending heavily Cruz.
4. On a broader statewide level, which is what the Texas Tribune/UT poll measured, Dewhurst still has a significant name ID advantage. And he’ll spend millions of dollars of his own personal wealth running TV ads trying to hide from his record and convince voters he’s conservative. But, the more voters learn about Dewhurst’s actual record, the more his support collapses — that support is moving to Cruz.
Six months ago, Dewhurst had a massive lead. This is now a 12-point race.
Half of the Republican voters are still undecided, but Cruz has the best ground game and a strong conservative record that will appeal to undecided Republicans. And, having raised over $2.8 million — more than any other candidate in the race, including Dewhurst — Cruz will have the funding to get his message out.
The primary is March 6, 2012. If no one gets a majority — and with 11 Republicans of varying name ID running, it seems quite possible — there will be a runoff of the top two finishers on May 22.