May 09, 2008
Another good poll for Noriega

On the heels of that Rasmussen poll showing him within four points of Sen. John Cornyn, a second poll has confirmed that Rick Noriega is running a close race.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/5-7. Likely voters. MoE 4% (9/24-26/07 results)

Cornyn (R) 48 (51)
Noriega (D) 44 (35)

That is nothing short of astounding. And lest anyone worry that it's an outlier, these numbers confirm a Rasmussen poll from earlier this week:

Rasmussen. 5/1. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

Cornyn (R) 47
Noriega (D) 43

I also pitted McCain against both Obama and Clinton, and here, the results are a little less encouraging:

McCain (R) 52
Obama (D) 39

McCain (R) 53
Clinton (D) 38

The crosstabs are very interesting, and offer some tantalizing suggestions for this year's election. The first thing to notice is that Noriega does as well among Democrats as Cornyn does among Republicans - indeed, he does a smidge better (Dems go 82-11 for Noriega, Repubs 81-13 for Cornyn) - while independents are split evenly. This is further evidence of the hypothesis that the GOP's built-in advantage in Texas has eroded from about nine points to perhaps half that. That's a gap that can be bridged.

This Presidential poll is the best showing I've seen yet for McCain in Texas; his previous high-water mark was a 51-42 lead over Obama in March. The crosstabs tell an interesting story there, too, as McCain does significantly better among Republicans (83-6 versus Obama, 84-5 against Clinton) than either Democrat does among Dems (79-15 for Obama, 79-16 for Clinton). I believe that will even out once the nomination is finalized. McCain also does better among independents, which he is likely to continue to do, though if the Dems spend some money portraying McCain as four more years of Bush (whose approval rating among indies in this poll is 31-69), that ought to get narrowed.

So we now have two polls showing a close race. The more national interest in this matchup, the better. The next step is closing the fundraising gap. Here's the ActBlue page if you want to help with that.

UPDATE: Noriega liveblogs on Kos. And here's more reaction to the first poll.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 09, 2008 to Election 2008