October 18, 2008
R2K TX-SEN poll: Noriega within 6

The Rasmussen poll for September showed Rick Noriega trailing Sen. John Cornyn by seven points. Now we have confirmation of that from Research 2000, via Kos:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/14-15. Likely voters. MoE 4% (5/5-7 results)

Cornyn (R) 50 (48)
Noriega (D) 44 (44)
Adams (Schick) (L) 2 (n/a)

That's pretty good, and the partisan breakdown of the sample (40R/33D/27I) seems reasonable. There's also a Presidential result - McCain 52, Obama 40, "other" 4. I expect Noriega to do a little better than Obama in Texas, though I'd estimate it as a point or two, not four points. But this could happen.

The difference between Noriega and Obama is clearly visible in the crosstabs. Noriega and Cornyn each get about the same level of support from their own party - Noriega wins Dems 85-8, Cornyn carries Rs by 87-9. They split indies, with a 47-46 margin for Cornyn. Obama wins Dems 80-14 (McCain gets Rs at a 84-7 clip) and loses indies 51-41. He has some room to grow there.

How can Noriega close the gap? Well, the R/D/I split may ultimately be more favorable to him, especially with Obama on the air with no response from McCain. A strong turnout effort by Democrats can have an effect there. The sample also has Noriega winning Hispanic voters by a 63-31 margin, which I think is a bit low for him. He is also probably doing better among black voters than the 78-7 split suggests - I'd bet the vast majority of the "undecideds" break for him. Obama is at 89-4 among black voters and 57-33 among Hispanics; again, I think the latter spread will be greater in the end. Finally, I don't think Obama will lose among voters aged 18-29, as the poll currrently shows him trail 49-44; Noriega leads this group by 47-46. At the very least, the potential exists for a stronger showing. This is a good result, and if it helps generate enough late money to keep Noriega on the air over the next two weeks, who knows? It's close enough to go his way, and the wind is at his back. I'm encouraged.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 18, 2008 to Election 2008
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