Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Percent in Texas

In recent weeks and months, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hasn't only been polling in the states where it is obvious that a strong Democratic challenger might be able to upset a Republican incumbent. Apparently, they have also been in the field in other states, including Texas.

Key Findings

1. George W Bush has a negative job rating in Texas (47% positive - 51% negative) and the voters are nearly evenly split on whether their family would be better off with a Democrat or Republican majority in the US Senate (41% Democrats - 43% Republicans).

2. A strong plurality of voters in Texas believe the country is headed in the wrong direction (34% right direction - 49% wrong direction). President Bush's job rating on handling Iraq is even more negative (41% positive - 58% negative).

3. Republican John Cornyn has lower than expected name recognition for an incumbent US Senator, with 39% of the electorate unable to rate Cornyn either favorably or unfavorably. Overall he is 41% favorable - 19% unfavorable.

4. Senator Cornyn's generic reelect versus a Democrat is under 50% (47% Republican John Cornyn - 38% Democratic candidate; 15% undecided).

[...]

1 The following memo is based on a survey of 800 registered likely voters in Texas. Hamilton Beattie & Staff conducted telephone interviewing April 11-15, 2007. The margin of error for the statewide sample is ± 3.5 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level.

The point of posting this poll is not to indicate that I believe that Texas will necessarily be on the board in the race for the Senate but rather that the Democrats at least have the opportunity to put the Republicans on the defensive in yet another state this year -- a fact that could be bad news for the Republicans, both because they have not shown an ability to match Chuck Schumer's fundraising prowess at the DSCC and because they are defending 75 percent more seats in 2008 than are the Democrats.

Clearly, the Democrats need to find a suitable candidate for the race in Texas -- a race that, as mentioned above, might not even turn out competitive but could and likely would, at the very least, put the GOP on its heels. Markos seems to like a state Rep. named Rick Noriega, whose name has been forwarded by 2004 Tom DeLay challenger and Netroots hero Richard Morrison. Other names currently being bandied about include the former state comptroller John Sharp, Houston Mayor Bill White and former Congressman Jim Turner.

Regardless of who ends up getting into the race and whom the Democrats eventually nominate, this polling does at least hold out the hope that this could be a competitive race. And as we've seen any number of times in recent cycles, whether it was in Virginia in 2006 or Kentucky in 2004, strange things can happen in senatorial contests that can blow wide open races previously viewed as cakewalks.

Tags: John Cornyn, Senate 2008, texas, TX-Sen (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Re: Sen. Cornyn

Texas could be one of the next states to go purple.

by Alvord 2007-04-23 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Pe

There's also trial lawyer Mikal Watts who just raised over $1million for the DSCC in San Antonio.

by Texas Nate 2007-04-23 12:18PM | 0 recs
Booya, Dem's money time.

With that said, we're going to give Cornyn hell in Texas.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-23 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Pe

What about Barbara Ann Radnofsky? Did she get enough name recognition in her run in 2006 against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson to be a strong candidate in 2008?

And what about the other possible candidates listed on 2008RaceTracker?

by RandomNonviolence 2007-04-23 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Pe

I posted this on Kos and I'll post here as well.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZmvZL4_qdnQ

When you approve SOCK PUPPETS as your only series of tv advertizements, then your entire credibility as a candidate is called into question.

by Trowaman 2007-04-23 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Pe

I haven't lived in Texas for 35 years, so I didn't know what kinds of ads Radnofsky was running. If this indicative, then pretty bad.

Where are the fighting progressive Democrats in the mold of Jim Hightower?

by RandomNonviolence 2007-04-23 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall ..

This is another example of you can't win if you don't play.  Look what happens when you have good candidates and put serious heat on them.  With out a serious challenger, would Allen have made his infamous "Macaca" remark?  That is just one example obviously.  When you give someone a free pass, they lose touch and get lazy.  You never know what can happen in the heat of a campaign.  Besides, if you don't ask the people for their vote, what good are you as a party?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-04-23 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Cornyn's Reelect Numbers Fall Below 50 Pe

  Good news.  Like you said, these numbers suggest a competitive race is coming.  I think we would really need a fabulous Democratic candidate or a bad gaffe from Cornyn to actually win.  It's possible.  I'm really glad to read that the DSCC is willing to take risks in supposedly solid-red states.  We need a candidate who can get Hispanic voters to the polls.    In 2004, Hispanic Texans were split between John Kerry And Bush.  We can and should do much better in 2008.

by cilerder86 2007-04-23 12:45PM | 0 recs
The Next Attorney General

Cornyn could be in line for an AG nomination if Abu G flames out. He's in trouble in Texas. He is a reliable administration man, and he a senator, which should mean the Democrats in the Senate will give him a pass.

Except that last part may not be true. I don't think the Democrats would be inclined to give anyone a pass.

by Mister Go 2007-04-23 01:21PM | 0 recs
Texas

Something to think about.  Texax has not elected a Democrat in a statewide election in over 34 years.  :-/

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-23 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Texas

Um, to name just two Democrats elected statewide in the last 34 years: John Sharp, state comptroller from 1991 to 1999, and Ann Richards, state treasurer from 1983 to 1991 and governor from 1991 to 1995. On the federal level, Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen was reelected as recently as 1988.

by Jonathan Singer 2007-04-23 03:28PM | 0 recs

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