For those who care about this sort of thing.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump are in a dead heat for the Republican presidential nomination in Texas, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
With four months to go before the March 1 primary, each had the support of 27 percent of likely Republican voters. Surgeon Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were well back of the leaders at 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the first choice of 61 percent of Texas Democrats, building on her earlier support in the state and remaining well ahead of her rivals, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Sanders, running second, has been unable to change the fundamental dynamics of a primary where Clinton has the political advantage, as Barack Obama did in 2008.
“I just don’t see any signs of weakness,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.
The numbers have shifted some since the previous UT/TT survey in June — a poll conducted when a number of official and unofficial exploratory campaigns were still underway.
Clinton led the Democratic field in the June UT/TT Poll with 53 percent support. Sanders’ numbers increased in the current poll, too, in part because two prospective candidates included in that survey — Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — decided not to run.
The two leading Republican candidates in the latest survey — especially Trump — scooped up support that in June was going to two candidates who have since left the race: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Cruz had 20 percent in that June poll; Trump was back in the dust at 2 percent.
“The summer of Trump had not started when we did the last poll,” Henson said. “He was not really in the race.”
The poll summary is here. Take it for whatever you think it’s worth. I’ve ragged on this poll many times – they wound up being pretty accurate last November, but they sucked rocks in the March primary. I think their Dem sample is likely to be reasonably on target, though there’s still some time for Bernie Sanders to move the needle with his in-state campaign. The GOP side, I have to believe that will continue to be volatile and unpredictable. Who knows if Trump and/or Carson will even still be in the race by the time the primary happens? I suppose for that reason it made no sense to try out any potential November matchups, but it still would have been fun to see Hillary/Trump and Sanders/Carson and whatever else you might want to try. For entertainment purposes only, of course, but it would be entertaining.