Public Policy Polling, the Democratic-aligned polling firm that has been notoriously accurate recently, has put out a new report on the state of the 2014 Senate election in Texas. Senator John Cornyn leads his four hypothetical opponents: Julian Castro, Wendy Davis, Annise Parker, and Bill White by good margins. The poll showed that Cornyn is not popular nor unpopular, but still relatively unknown, although Texas is still a solidly Republican state. I’m going to break down the results below.
Obama approval rating–47% (approve) to 51% (disapprove)
Cornyn approval rating–34% (approve) to 30% (disapprove)
Castro approval rating–29% (approve) to 24% (disapprove)
Davis approval rating–15% (approve) to 19% (disapprove)
Parker approval rating–16% (approve) to 17% (disapprove)
White approval rating–34% (approve) to 24% (disapprove)
NRA approval rating–46% (approve) to 40% (disapprove)
Obama impeachment approval–39% (pro-impeach) to 50% (anti-impeach)
Obama or NRA: trust in re guns–43% (Obama) to 47% (NRA)
Banning assault weapons–49% (support) to 41% (oppose)
Police officers in schools–47% (support) to 39% (oppose)
Arming teachers–31% (support) to 56% (oppose)
Cornyn vs. Castro–48% (Cornyn) to 41% (Castro)
Cornyn vs. Davis–48% (Cornyn) to 37% (Davis)
Cornyn vs. Parker–47% (Cornyn) to 36% (Parker)
Cornyn vs. White–45% (Cornyn) to 42% (White)
How it is possible that a majority of Texans support the President’s gun control measures, yet almost 40% support his impeachment (for what?), I will never know. Otherwise, it seems the President’s approval ratings have seen a bounce in Texas for his second inauguration.
I have a few comments about this poll. First, it seems sad that, in all likelihood, none of the Democrats mentioned will run. Second, 2014 is still a LONG ways out, and I seem to recall 2009 polls once upon a time that said Rick Perry was dead in the water. But that’s a whole other story. Third, this poll didn’t seem to measure what I am truly curious about: the GOP primary for the seat (because, in all honesty, that is the only possible way the seat would change hands next year).
Castro has already disavowed any 2014 plans, plain and simple. Davis will be doing something else next year: running for re-election. Parker, as I discussed a million years ago, would most likely not bother with a Statewide, and it is, in my opinion, far more feasible for her to run for Congress. White has been hiding under a cave or something for the last three years, so he is sort of a non-starter in the discussion.
Also, these things are a ways off, and thus, through no fault of the polling house, are unreliable. I recall a 2011 PPP poll which had Cruz trailing, and a June 2010 PPP poll had White & Perry tied. Twenty-two months is an eternity in politics, so a lot will change.
Finally, I was disappointed by how the Republican primary was not discussed. Just as how Cruz came out of nowhere to snatch up a nomination that was, in the eyes of the establishment, Dewhurst’s for the taking, I would not be surprised if a Tea Party like challenged Cornyn in the spring next year. Personally, I’d love to see John Cornyn have to battle someone as reality impaired in a primary as Steve Stockman, but he would make Senator Cruz look sane if he won.
Bottom line, the Democrats need to find a candidate for the Senate. I nominate Tommy Lee Jones. Seriously.