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Texas Senate: Cornyn Still Well Ahead But Has Less Than 50% Support

The U.S. Senate race in Texas remains steady this month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds GOP Senator John Cornyn leading Democratic state legislator Rick Noriega 48% to 37%.

When “leaners” are included, the race is Cornyn 52%, Noriega 38%.

While Noriega’s support has not changed since July, Cornyn’s support has gone up just a single percentage point. The race tightened slightly last month, when the incumbent’s lead dropped from 13 points in June to 10 points in July. Cornyn is currently serving his first term in the Senate.

This month, Cornyn is backed by 83% of Republicans and 14% of Democrats in Texas. Noriega’s support consists of 71% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans. Among unaffiliated voters, Cornyn leads 41% to 30%.

The Republican leads 48% to 39% among men in the Lone Star State and 47% to 35% among women.

Cornyn is viewed favorably by 57% of Texas voters and unfavorably by 28%. Noriega’s numbers are 45% favorable, 35% unfavorable.

Though Cornyn has hovered around the 50% support level over the past several months, he is in far better shape than many of his Republican colleagues. Incumbents with less than 50% support are generally viewed as vulnerable. The GOP seats most at risk to go Democratic are found in Virginia, Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Rasmussen Markets data shows that Cornyn is currently given a % chance of keeping his job in November. This figure is updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom of the market.

The new survey also found that over a third (36%) agree with a Texas county's decision to allow teachers to carry guns into school for security and protection, while 54% disagree. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to believe teachers should have this right. While nearly half (46%) of GOP voters think teachers should be allowed, just 20% of Democrats agree. Forty-four percent (44%) of unaffiliated voters say teachers should be allowed to carry guns to school.

The majority of voters in Texas (51%) also believe schools should be allowed to use corporal punishment on their students, while 40% disagree. While more Republican voters are in favor of corporal punishment, Democrats are much more evenly divided on the issue. Men are in favor of the method of punishment by a 64% to 30% margin, while women disagree with the practice by a 48% to 40% margin.

Recently, a number of college presidents, including two from Texas, have suggested lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 as a way to combat binge problem. Most voters in Texas (61%) say they do not agree with the idea, while 35% do.

Approval ratings for Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, have changed little since the last survey. Forty-three percent (43%) say he is doing a good or excellent job, while 25% say he is doing a poor job.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations, Inc.

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Texas Safe Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

Ras Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Cornyn (R)

55%

51%

55%

Noriega (D)

40%

40%

43%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports August 21, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology


Texas Trends: Cornyn vs. Noriega

Date

Cornyn

Noriega

10/21/2008

55%

40%

09/29/2008

50%

43%

08/21/2008

48%

37%

07/30/2008

47%

37%

06/25/2008

48%

35%

06/02/2008

52%

35%

05/01/2008

47%

43%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Texas

 

Cornyn

Noriega

Very Favorable

26%

18%

Somewhat Favorable

33%

25%

Somewhat Unfavorable

23%

24%

Very Unfavorable

9%

18%

Not Sure

9%

16%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.