There is probably no state that is more reliably Republican than Texas. The last time the Lone Star state went for a Democrat in a presidential election was 1976, when Jimmy Carter carried the state. No Democrat has been governor of the state since 1995, when Ann Richards left office after losing to George W. Bush.
But a new Texas Lyceum poll released on Wednesday shows that both Donald Trump and incumbent Senator Ted Cruz are not very popular with voters.
Trump, who won Texas by 9 percent over Hillary Clinton last year, is currently underwater in the Texas Lyceum poll, with 54 percent saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing and only 42 percent approving.
The new poll also looked ahead to the 2018 midterm election, when Ted Cruz will be up for reelection. Currently, one Democratic challenger had announced his intention to run. U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke is tied in the poll at 30 percent with Cruz. 37 percent of those surveyed said they had not yet begun to think about the 2018 race.
Another possible Democratic contender, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, was also factored into the poll, and was favored by 35 percent of those polled to Cruz’s 31 percent.
Could this early snapshot of a race that is 18 months away send a current of anxiety through the Cruz campaign? He is sitting on a $4.2 million war chest before any campaigning begins, and will certainly have the resources of the Republican National Committee as his disposal. He may not want to have Trump stump for him since the two threw some heavy jabs at each other during the 2016 election.
These early bad numbers for Cruz and Trump could be harbingers of a larger trend. And if they continue to play out–in Texas and around the country–Trump could potentially be looking at a Democratic Congress as the second half of his term begins.
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