The Republican pollster that signaled Dick Lugar’s demise and Deb Fischer’s late surge is now flagging an upset in the making in the Texas Senate race.
Tea party favorite Ted Cruz is leading Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst 47 percent to 38 percent in the GOP runoff, according to a new survey by the Columbus, Ohio-based Wenzel Strategies.
The poll, commissioned for the Cruz-backing Citizens United Political Victory Fund and released first to POLITICO, found 14 percent remain undecided with just under three weeks until the election.
I believe this is the first non-campaign poll conducted since the primary election was held. (Both Cruz and Dewhurst have released internal polls that show them leading by 9 and 8 points respectively.)
This is also a huge deal for Cruz. As I reported last week, Dewhurst has a lot of factors in his favor: He has more money (thanks to his enormous wealth), and he beat Cruz by 11 points in the primary (and it’s believed that the 13 percent who voted for Tom Leppert are likely to shift to Dewhurst rather than Cruz). In the one debate that’s happened in the runoff, there seemed to be little media attention, and Cruz didn’t seem to make any attack that really resonated.
But if he’s leading by 8 points, the momentum on the ground is going his way obviously. Perhaps some Dewhurst voters gave Cruz a second look. Or perhaps the intense grassroots enthusiasm for Cruz is paying off, and people are listening to their friends and neighbors who are huge Cruz backers.