Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz leads Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst 47 percent to 38 percent among likely voters in the state’s GOP Senate primary runoff, according to a new survey by Wenzel Strategies.
The poll was commissioned by the Citizens United Political Victory Fund, which backs the tea partyer Cruz, and released first to Politico. It showed that 14 percent of voters are undecided, and it carries a 4 percentage point margin of error. The runoff will take place July 31.
Dewhurst’s side released an internal poll Wednesday showing him in the lead by 50 percent to 42 percent. And an internal poll for the Cruz campaign released last week showed him ahead by 49 percent to 40 percent.
Those numbers reflect a more volatile Republican primary electorate in this election cycle, Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies told Politico.
“Voters are waiting much longer to make their decisions, because they sense this is one of the most important elections in their lifetimes. We see from state to state to state, levels of undecided voters and soft supporters that I don’t remember seeing in previous cycles,” he said.
Wenzel’s poll showed that only 62 percent of likely voters in the Texas race feel “very firm” in their choice, an extremely low level for this stage in a runoff. “People are being very careful about their final decisions,” he said. “These people are going to vote, but they are just really up in the air.”
In any case, Dewhurst faces a much more competitive race than many analysts expected. Both sides agree that whoever is ahead has only a single-digit lead.
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