Republicans lead multiple match-ups for 2012 Texas Senate seat
The candidates are just beginning to position themselves, but a new survey from Public Policy Polling indicates that no matter which Republican wins the party’s nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2012, the GOP is likely to maintain the seat.
A poll conducted between Jan. 14-16 examined four possible Republicans and three potential Democratic candidates, creating 12 different possible match-ups for the 2012 Senate race. In each instance, the Republican candidate won the outcome, and not just by a slim margin, but a double-digit advantage in every possible race.
The four Republicans included in the poll were: Lt. Gov David Dewhurst, Dallas mayor Tom Leppert and two members of the Texas Railroad Commission, Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones. On the Democratic side, PPP included former Comptroller John Sharp, former Rep. Chet Edwards and San Antonio Mayor Castro.
Dewhurst performs strongest of all potential candidates, beating Sharp by 18 points, Edwards by 19 percent and Julian Castro by a dominating 28-percent margin.
But as PPP’s Tom Jensen notes, it is still very early in the campaign, with all of the possible candidates holding low name recognition among Texas voters:
Only Dewhurst, who 62% of voters have an opinion about, surpasses 50% in name recognition. 54% of voters don’t know enough about Edwards to have formed an opinion about him and that rises steadily to 58% for Sharp, 63% for Leppert, 65% for Castro, and 72% for Williams and Jones. If there’s a ray of hope for Democrats it’s that they’ll get a candidate into the race who’s currently not very well known but who really catches fire and somehow proves to be more appealing to voters than the eventual Republican nominee.