A new Emerson College Poll finds the US Senate race neck and neck with Senator Ted Cruz at 38% and US Rep Beto O’Rourke at 37%; 4% are voting for someone else and 21% were undecided. In the Governor race, Gov. Greg Abbott has a 20 point advantage- 48% to 28% for Lupe Valdez a former sheriff of Dallas County, 3% were voting for someone else and 20% were undecided. The Poll was conducted 8/22-8/25, +/- 4.4 percentage points.
There is a stark difference in voter perception between the two Republican candidates running for re-election. Abbott has a 47% favorable and 33% unfavorable with 18% neutral and 2% never heard of him, Cruz has a 38% favorable and 44% unfavorable with 18% neutral and less than 1% have never heard of him.
The disparities in popularity and in the two elections appear to be driven by Independent voters. Ted Cruz has a 57% unfavorable rating among independents and a 25% favorable rating, conversely, Abbott, the other Republicans has a 41% unfavorable and 37% favorable rating among independents. These numbers play out in the ballot test where O’Rourke leads Cruz 45% to 25% among independents, while Abbott leads Valdez 38% to 27% among independents.
Adding to Cruz’s problem is that he faces a popular opponent, Beto O’Rourke has a 37% favorable and 25% unfavorable, 27% were neutral, while 11% had not heard of him.
There is a generational divide between Cruz and O’Rourke voters. Among 18-34 year olds, O’Rourke leads by 19 points (47% to 28%); among 35-54 he leads by 8 points (45% to 37%), Cruz has a 14 point lead with those 55-74 (47% to 33%), and the incumbent Senator leads by 22 points among those over 75 (39% to 17%).
When voters were asked about “sanctuary cities” – 42% of voters were opposed, while 35%were in favor. 24% had no opinion. Regarding abortion laws, 34% think abortion laws should be more strict, 38% think they should be less strict, 24% favor the status quo and 14% are unsure.
Lupe Valdez has a 22% favorable and 26% unfavorable, 31% are neutral and 22% have never heard of her.
President Trump has a 46% unfavorable rating and a 44% favorable rating among those Texans polled.
The Texas Emerson College Poll was conducted August 22-25, 2018 under the Supervision of Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=550, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The data was weighted by ethnicity, party affiliation, mode, 2016 presidential model, and congressional district. It is important to remember that subsets carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and an online panel provided by Survey Monkey.