by IVR Polls, Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 07:36:42 AM EDT
In 2004, George Bush took 62% of the vote in Texas' 10th Congressional District. In 2006, Michael McCaul was held to 55% by a poorly funded Democrat and a relatively well funded Libertarian. My own polling a week before the election found 7% undecided, but the challengers had no funds to close the deal and undecided stayed with the incumbent. As a disclaimer, and an illustration of the funding issue, I did $90 in robocalls for the challenger, Ted Ankrum, in the closing days.
For the 2008 race, in polling on June 2, 528 likely voters gave McCaul a 5.4% lead over Democratic challenger Larry Joe Doherty. McCaul received 51.7% to Doherty's 46.3%, with 2.0% undecided.
TX-10 is described as a 'barbell district' due to having a large chunk of the district in Travis County (Austin), a large chunk in Harris County (Houston) and a thin strip of highway frontage in between. In 2006, Harris went 71-26 for McCaul and Travis went 56-38 for Ankrum. In this poll, McCaul takes Harris 63-33 and Doherty takes Travis by the same 63-33. Travis is the slightly larger end of the TX-10 barbell, but the 'bar' in between went 70-30 for McCaul, resulting in a McCaul lead.
Of note, I also polled Obama-McCain and Cornyn-Noriega in this district and found those races to be more favorable to the other Republicans than they are to McCaul. Cornyn leads Noriega 54-44 and McCain leads Obama 55-41. Statewide, my past results have been more in line with Baselice than SurveyUSA or Rasmussen on these races, but I do not have current statewide numbers to report.
Historically, turnout in this district doesn't include large numbers of Latinos or African-Americans. In this poll, both groups went with Doherty, Latinos by 2-1 and African-Americans by 7-1. If Obama at the top of the ticket increases African-American general election turnout as he has in the primary, and these additional voters follow through on the down-ballot races, Doherty could close the gap even further. Increased Latino turnout in the primary was mainly a reflection of Clinton's popularity, but there is a possibility that Noriega could also increase Latino turnout for the general, further benefitting Doherty.
There is no significant gender gap in these results, but age is a factor. Voters under 40 go with the Democrat in each race. Voters from 40-59 go with the Republican by small margins. Voters over 60 go Republican in all cases, but margin is much larger in races for President and Senator.
528 likely voters polled 6/2/2008, margin of error 4.3%