I wouldn't call this poll from CD32 good news for Martin Frost, but it's not all bad.
[Rep. Pete Sessions] leads his Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, 50 percent to 44 percent in their quest to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District, according to a Dallas Morning News poll.
Both campaigns declared the results encouraging, though the poll's director gives Mr. Sessions the edge – for now. The survey indicates that Mr. Sessions enjoys a solid base of support in a district where voters traditionally back Republicans.
Among voters who say they could still be persuaded to choose another candidate, Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions are virtually even, which doesn't bode well for Mr. Frost, pollster Ann Selzer said. Election Day is Nov. 2.
But in this district designed by Republicans in the Texas Legislature to end Mr. Frost's 26-year congressional career, Mr. Frost is appealing more to women, minorities and independents than Mr. Sessions does, according to the survey of about 800 likely voters in the district.
Mr. Frost's strength among independent poll respondents – 56 percent favored him, compared with 37 percent for Mr. Sessions – and an unusually high Hispanic voter turnout are Mr. Frost's best hopes for victory, Dr. Selzer said.
"Frost will really have to make some serious inroads, and quickly," she said.
When Hispanic voter turnout exceeds expectations, Mr. Sessions will understand how many inroads he has made, Mr. Frost argued.
And because only 4 percent of the poll's respondents are Hispanics – they represent 36 percent of the district's total population, including nonvoters – Mr. Frost said he thinks a higher Hispanic turnout will close the poll's 6-percentage-point margin.
Eighty-two percent of respondents identified themselves as white, while 7 percent said they are black.
Although the poll's racial and ethnic breakdown doesn't match the overall district makeup, Dr. Selzer said, the poll accurately represents the political will of the district at one moment in time. In selecting respondents, the pollsters randomly selected 32nd District households with published telephone numbers.
One other mixed message from the story:
Neither candidate has released complete details of internal polls they've conducted.