The Texas Tribune, in cooperation with the University of Texas, has released a new 2014 General election poll. As far as I could figure, this is the first poll the institutions have released for the 2014 campaign. The results paint an interesting picture of the political landscape that could foster competitive elections for the first time in nearly 20 years.
First and foremost, let us look at the results:
1. Republican Gubernatorial Primary
Larry SECEDE Kilgore–1%
2. Republican Senatorial Primary
3. Republican Lieutenant Governor Primary
4. Republican Attorney General Primary
5. Republican Comptroller Primary
6. Gubernatorial general election (with Abbott)
7. Gubernatorial general election (with Pauken)
Like I said, there is no other Tribune poll I could compare these results to. Accordingly, there could be many confounding variables at play if I attempted to compare them to July’s PPP poll. At that time, Abbott lead Davis by eight points, down from a twelve point lead in January by the same pollster. PPP will be releasing a new Texas poll in the next few days however, so this is all pointless posturing to compare the apples and oranges until then.
The vast majority of the electorate is undecided in the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller primary elections, which is somewhat unsurprising. Debra Medina made a good showing, though it could be explained that her libertarian brand of Republicanism had only one candidate, while more mainline Conservatives are split between Hegar and Hilderbran. Thus, an argument could be made that the undecided electorate is simply deciding between the non-Medina candidates.
John Cornyn took a big hit in this poll, not even breaking 40% in his second primary as an incumbent. As Off the Kuff just noted this morning, David Barton (a Tea Party firebrand) is currently mulling a highly-funded campaign from the right against Cornyn. This lackluster poll result could be just the sign they are looking for. It could be the beginning of some dark times for Cornyn.
Lastly, perhaps the Pauken/Davis result is the most spectacular. The result proves that any Republican will not beat a formidable Democrat in this State. Since Greg Abbott isn’t just any Republican, this means the Governor’s mansion is still out of reach. However, a well-placed candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General could do the trick. While I have nothing but the utmost respect for Sam Houston and his candidacy for AG, he is not a formidable candidate. Indeed, he doesn’t come anywhere close because he lacks any amount of political experience. Same goes for Maria Alvarado’s second-charm campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
We need real candidates, State Senators in particular. Leticia Van de Putte is still the ideal candidate for the former option, whereas either Carlos Uresti or Jose Rodriguez would work well for the former.
Brains & Eggs has more.