Poll: GOP still tops in Texas

By Marilyn Tennissen | Oct 30, 2012

Most Texans prefer Republicans Mitt Romney for president and Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll. 

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll conducted last month surveyed about 800 voters through the Internet. The survey of likely voters showed 55 percent favored Romney over Democrat Barack Obama at 39 percent.

The Texas Tribune stated that the results show that the Republican Party is still dominant in Texas. It notes that in 2008, 55.5 percent of Texans voted for John McCain compared to 43.7 percent for Obama.

In the U.S. Senate race for the seat being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, Cruz has 54 percent compared to 39 percent for Democrat Paul Sadler.

“At the top of the ticket, in the big marquee races, there are no surprises,” said Jim Henson, who teaches government at the University of Texas at Austin, heads the Texas Politics Project there and co-directs the poll. “We see the basic structure of the state, in terms of partisanship, pretty stable.”

One of the key results of the poll shows that Republican Texans believe the United States is headed in the wrong direction. The poll showed that about 58 percent believe the country is on the wrong track, which is actually an improvement from the 75 percent who felt that way last year.

But when it comes to the Lone Star State, the Republicans think Texas is on the right path.

“Almost all of the wrong-track numbers went down, and almost all of the right-direction numbers went up,” said Henson. “You get a sense that people are feeling some slight improvement in the economy and they’re feeling things going pretty well in Texas.”

The poll also demonstrated that 53 percent respondents were not happy with the performance of the president. As for Congress, only 11 percent indicated they approve of the job lawmakers are doing. Of that 11 percent, only 1 percent “strongly approve” of Congress.

“One percent strongly approve of Congress – that’s my favorite stat in the poll,” said co-director of the poll Daron Shaw. “Texans really, really don’t like these guys.”

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