There sure was a lot of noise about an unorthodox poll put out by UT and the Texas Tribune yesterday that claimed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst had a decent lead over Ted Cruz, with the rest of the pack well back. The Cruz campaign is promoting it heavily, claiming that it shows him firmly in second place and positioned for a runoff. Let me just say this: if they truly believed that this poll was relevant, they’d all be crying in their beers this morning hoping that no one noticed it.
For once, Paul Burka gets something right in this race:
Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it seems to me that if Dewhurst is “roughly splitting” the extremely conservative vote with Cruz, that’s good for Dewhurst, not problematical. It means Dewhurst gets half of the extremely conservative voters and, presumably, all of the moderates. In this scenario, he wins.
Exactly. Remember how the Cruz campaign promoted the January Public Policy Polling poll:
Notice what that red banner says: AMONG INFORMED VOTERS. Well, if you look at Question 2 of the poll, it claims that 89% of the respondents are either extremely interested or somewhat interested. And note further that Question 3 claims that 68% vote in almost every election and further, Question 13 claims that 79% of the respondents vote in primaries. If that is the case (and I’m not saying it is) then Cruz is toast because he must have this entire block of voters to get into a runoff. I’m skeptical that this opt-in type of polling could find so many informed people that vote in over 2/3 of elections and 4/5 of primaries, especially since the turnout for primaries in Texas is extremely low historically:
Note that the HIGH mark for primary voting was in 2008 at 33% combined, most times it is less than half that. Like I said, if this poll is legit, and the Cruz campaign is depending upon informed voters, then Cruz is toast. But I don’t believe it is close to legit, nor do I believe that Cruz believes it is legit, even if he is trying to raise money from it. His campaign knows, as do the other campaigns, that Dewhurst remains about 50%, with Cruz and Leppert fighting for number two, with Leppert leading but within the margin of error.
And if you still don’t believe me, then ask yourself this if you are a Cruz supporter: why didn’t I receive an email in mid-December touting the results of the internal polling done for the Cruz campaign by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research? According to the Q4 campaign finance report, the Cruz campaign paid them $31,875 on 12/1/2011. Why not release the top lines like the Dewhurst campaign did? It would surely help if the results were positive.
Remember when Craig James released his tax returns and made a big deal out of it? I don’t know if that was such a smart move or not because it brought to light a stark difference between the campaigns when it comes to charitable giving. Normally, I wouldn’t bother to go through their tax returns because it doesn’t matter to me. But since candidate James made such a big issue of it, here you go. Seems like two of the candidates believe in giving back from the wealth they’ve created and two of them don’t (data from Texas Tribune’s interactive site):
I left Lt. Gov. Dewhurst off the second chart for the obvious reason that he reported a loss and still gave a ton of money to charity – it is hard to compute a simple percentage for him. And $15,000 of Craig James’ 2010 “charity” was giving to the Texas Public Policy Foundation. I’ll leave it to you to decide which two candidates meet the conservative principle of charity.