In just one week, over 25,000 PAC for a Change community members voted in our "Choose a Challenger" contest. We're pleased to announce that Rick Noriega, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Texas, won the contest with 30% of the vote -- narrowly edging out Al Franken, who finished second with 24%.
Elsewhere, there's another positive poll result, this one from the Texas Lyceum (PDF).
Republican John McCain would beat Democrat Barack Obama in Texas if the race were held now. But a significant number of Texans said they haven't picked a favorite yet. Among likely voters, McCain had the support of 43% of those polled to 38% for Obama. Libertarian Bob Barr and independent Ralph Nader had about 1% each. One of every six voters -- 17% -- said they haven't decided who will get their vote in November.
Freshman U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, leads Democratic challenger Rick Noriega in the poll, but the margin is slim and a large number of voters haven't made up their minds. Cornyn had the support of 38% of the likely voters in the survey, to Noriega's 36%, with 24% saying they're not committed to either candidate.
Speaking of those party ID numbers, the reported totals are not what I'd expect:
We interviewed Texas adults during the June 12-20 period, talking to 1,000 adults, half of them male, half of them female. Eight out of ten said they are registered to vote.
The highly contested presidential contest apparently has Texans more tuned into politics than they were a year ago. Half identify themselves as voters in "every" or "almost every" election, and 85% consider themselves "extremely interested" or "somewhat interested" in politics and public affairs.
The respondents come from a variety of places, 42% suburban, 28% urban, and 27% rural. Most -- 59% -- are married, and 43% have one or more college degrees. Most -- 54% -- identify themselves as White; 32% as Hispanic; and 11% as African-American. The party splits are 32% Republican and 44% Democrat -- but the ideological splits go the other way, with 42% calling themselves conservative, 34% saying they are moderate, and 19% identifying themselves as liberals.
Interestingly, Burka mostly nods his head at this poll.
The presidential poll seems credible to me. In fact, McCain by six points is exactly the number that a prominent McCain booster told me recently he thought that the actual outcome would be. Noriega [trailing] by two is more problematic, but overall, these numbers, with the people who have made up their mind in both parties representing about three-fourths of the respondents and the rest being undecided, seem a lot more credible to me than the earlier polls that showed over 90% of the electorate committed (48%-44%).