Now we’re getting favorable State House polls

From the inbox:

Natali Hurtado

A recent poll of Texas House District 126, conducted for Democratic challenger Natali Hurtado’s campaign shows her essentially tied with Republican incumbent Sam Harless.

The poll of 401 likely voters, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, showed Hurtado trailing Harless by just a few points on the initial ballot test, within the poll’s 4.9% margin of error. After hearing balanced positive and negative messages about both candidates, Hurtado pulls to a dead heat, 47-47 percent.

The poll shows Donald Trump leading Joe Biden by just one point, 48-47 percent, in a district he won by 10 points in 2016.

“I am very encouraged by the results of this poll,” Hurtado said. “It shows that less than three months out from the election, we are surging and well positioned for victory on November 3rd.”

You can see a copy of the press release here. I have no further information about the poll, so make of it what you will. I do have a point to add, but first, have a look at this:

Click over to see further data on how the districts have shifted since 2012. The source for this tweet was these three tweets from Trib reporter Patrick Svitek. In those polls, Celina Montoya leads 49-42 in HD121, Brandy Chambers leads in HD112 48-46, and Joanna Cattanach leads in HD108 48-43.

Beto won all three districts in 2018, HD108 by 15, HD112 by ten, and HD121 by less than one. He lost HD126 by six points, while Trump carried it by ten. Other Republicans were winning it by twenty. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if Joe Biden is trailing him by one point there, that’s yet another clear sign we have a statewide tossup.

Later on, after I first drafted this post, we got this in the inbox as well:

Ann Johnson, the Democratic nominee for Texas House District 134 is already posting a narrow lead over incumbent Republican Sarah Davis, according to a new poll released today by the Johnson campaign.

The poll of likely voters was conducted by nationally acclaimed pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. A memo by Lake Research Partners can be downloaded here:

It shows Johnson with 44 percent of votes and Davis with 42 percent of votes, with 13 percent of votes undecided. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent. Only 27 percent of voters say they plan to re-elect Davis, “one of the lowest ‘hard re-elect’ ratings we have seen this cycle,” according to Lake Research.

There is of course a Patrick Svitek tweet for this as well. The Biden number is 57-39 over Trump; it was 55-40 for Clinton over Trump in 2016, and 60-39 for Beto over Cruz in 2018. Facing an opponent with money and a real campaign with that backdrop, it’s hard to see how Sarah Davis survives.

You know the drill with internal polls, and with polls where the questions and detailed data are not made public. You also know that the Republicans are free to release their own polls, if they have any worth releasing. I’m happy to keep reporting these as long as they keep coming in.

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4 Responses to Now we’re getting favorable State House polls

  1. blank says:

    IIRC, internal polls bias the candidate on average by 6 points. Of course, if the other side isn’t releasing an internal, then that means they don’t have their own internal they like better. But, I could envision someone like Angie Button being perfectly happy to fundraise off of a poll showing her down by 2 points.

    That said, this is my order of most-to-least believable.
    HD 134: This seems to line up with the conventional wisdom that Davis is Lincoln Chafee in 2006.
    HD 126: I will be pleasantly surprised if Hurtado wins, so she is probably a little bit behind.
    HDs 108 & 112: Yes, I expect Democrats to win these two seats, but those top line Biden numbers sound too rosy.
    HD 121: If this is true, then Wendy Davis is crushing Chip Roy in which case, I would expect her to release an internal showing at least a tie. Her last internal showed her behind by 2.

  2. asmith says:

    Blank is correct. I don’t think internals should be put in the trash but they’re mainly used for fundraising and message testing. I’ve heard that the GOP internals in the battleground districts are pretty bad.

    I think the first 4 or 5 districts that will be off the table in October are 138, 134, 66, 108, 26. If Harless goes down that tells us there is an erosion in Dan Patrick’s old base. Trump could win Texas by 2 or 3 points and the Dems could still pickup 12-14 seats in the Texas House, the Flores senate seat, and 2-4 congressional districts.

  3. Mainstream says:

    I am a longtime supporter of Rep. Sarah Davis in HD 134 and hope and expect her to survive. I placed a yard sign for her this week at a home with other Democrat signs, evidence of her unique cross-over appeal. But I concede if Trump gets creamed inside the Loop, it makes a tougher fight for her. I also don’t think Democrats will pick up HD 138 this cycle: Lacey Hull is an active candidate with a loyal cadre of moms in the district supporting her, and Akilah Bacy is an unfamiliar ballot name like Goodwill Pierre, Ashish Mahendru, Andres Pereira, Mekisha Murray, and the other unfamiliar-name D judicial candidates who lost in the Obama sweep in 2008. Bad ballot names are not limited to Democrats: I recall Cathy Heramsichuk who ran for state court of criminal appeals as a Republican, lost in 1994, and changed back to her maiden name and won as Cathy Cochran in 2002.

  4. mollusk says:

    @ Mainstream… and that’s why a number of candidates use initials rather than their given names.

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