PRES: A KTVT-TV/Dixie Strategies poll shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton, 46%-35%, in Texas. Nine percent prefer “another candidate,” and 9% are undecided. Trump leads among men, 49%-34%, and Clinton is within the margin of error among women, trailing Trump 42%-39%. Trump leads among Anglos, 51%-31%. Clinton leads among Hispanics/Latinos, 48%-32%, and among African-Americans, 71%-12%. Trump’s support among African-Americans seems high to us, based on historical African-American voting trends in presidential elections.
Both candidates are each viewed “very unfavorably” by a majority of likely voters. Trump is viewed unfavorably by 60% of voters, which makes him slightly less unpopular than Clinton, who is viewed unfavorably by 66% of voters. Trump is viewed unfavorably by 65% of Hispanics/Latinos and 88% of African-Americans. Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 71% of men.
The poll of 1,018 “likely voters across Texas” (448 self-identified Republicans, 3-5 Democrats and 265 “others”) was conducted by telephone on August 8-9. Its stated margin of error was ±3.1%.
SEN: The previously mentioned KTVT-TV/Dixie Strategies poll found that 61% of 2016 likely voters view U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz unfavorably, and a majority view him “very unfavorably.” A majority of respondents said Cruz’s decision not to endorse Donald Trump made them view him less favorably, including a majority of voters who identified themselves as “very conservative.” The poll indicates Cruz in a statistical tie with Joaquin Castro if the 2018 general election were held today. Better news for Cruz is that he leads Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, 38%-23%, and GLO Comm. George P. Bush, 40%-21%, in theoretical primary matchups. Among “very conservative” voters, Cruz leads Patrick, 42%-24%, and Bush, 49%-15%.
Leland Beatty Memo: The Texas Tribune‘s Patrick Svitek reported that a Leland Beatty memo to Reps. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Donna Howard (D-Austin) suggests there are “20 Texas House races where Democratic candidates appear to have real opportunities.” The memo goes on to describe the current state of competition in those races, noting “most Democratic candidates in these races do not appear financially ready to compete.” In June, Leland Beatty produced a poll showing Hillary Clinton trailing Donald Trump by 7 points in Texas. That poll was also commissioned by Democratic house members.
Dallas Co. GOP Chair: Phillip Huffines, brother of Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas), released a list of 61 precinct chairs who back his election as party chair, and he claimed support of “well over” the 96 votes needed to win. Precinct chairs are scheduled to meet on Monday to elect a successor to Mark Montgomery, who spent about two months on the job after defeating incumbent Wade Emmert in the March primary. Montgomery, a Tea Party activist who spent $26 on his campaign, won by nearly 15K votes as around 75K Republican primary voters passed on the race.
North Carolina Redistricting. A three-judge federal panel ruled that 28 of North Carolina’s legislative districts were unconstitutionally drawn in 2011 on the basis of racial gerrymandering. The court’s ruling will not affect the 2016 general election, but the state assembly is ordered to redraw districts next year.
Plaintiffs argued that the districts were drawn through “predominant and unjustified use of race.” The state argued that the use of race was “reasonably necessary” to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. The judges agreed with plaintiffs but also found that the assembly did not act “in bad faith or with discriminatory intent.”