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Texas Senate: Incumbent Cornyn’s Lead Slips to Ten Points

The United States Senate race in Texas continues to get tighter this month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Lone Star State finds Republican Incumbent John Cornyn leading Democratic State Legislator Rick Noriega 47% to 37%. When “leaners” are included, Cornyn leads 50% to 39%.

The incumbent senator is viewed favorably by 55% of voters and unfavorably by 31%. Noriega’s numbers are 45% favorable and 33% unfavorable.

July marks the second straight month that support for the incumbent has dropped below 50%. Last month, Cornyn had a 48% to 35% lead. Incumbents who poll below 50% are generally considered vulnerable. Cornyn polled better in early June, when he led the democrat 52% to 35%.

Though Cornyn’s lead has decreased this month, his numbers among unaffiliated voters have improved. The Republican now leads 41% to 24% among those voters. Support from his own party fell slightly this month, from 85% to 81%. On the other side of the aisle, Noreiga is now backed by 79% of Democrats, up from 68% last month.

The Republican now leads by fourteen percentage points among men and seven points among women, representing little change from last month.

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. In fact, the only question about Democratic gains in the Senate this fall is how many seats they will pick up. Those most likely to go Democratic include races in Virginia, Alaska, New Mexico, and New Hampshire. Other Republican seats in play can be found in Colorado, Mississippi and Minnesota. The only Democratic seat potentially at risk is in Louisiana.

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 survey also found that most Texan voters (54%) are in favor of the state spending $5 billion on new power lines running between wind farms and major cities. Just 14% do not agree with this idea.

Voters on Texas are split on how to react to higher gas prices when it comes to school trips. While 44% of voters believe public schools should cut back on out of town trips in reaction to high fuel prices, 41% disagree. Men are more likely than women to say school trips should be cut back by a 54% to 36% margin.

Two-thirds (67%) also believe that annual tuition and fee increases at State colleges should be capped so they do not exceed the national rate of inflation. However, while supporting that idea, 71% are opposed to having taxpayers make up the difference if education costs rise faster than the national inflation rate. A separate national survey found that 84% of voters are worried about high inflation this year.

When it comes to driver safety in Texas, 66% of voters in Texas favor a law requiring individuals to use hands free telephone devices while driving, while just over a quarter (26%) disagree. Voters are evenly divided as to whether people should be allowed to eat fast food meals while driving.

Approval ratings for Governor Rick Perry have improved slightly over the past month. The Republican earns good or excellent ratings from 45% of voters, up from 37% last month. Twenty-four percent (24%) 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 July 30, 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.