The Dawn Buckingham campaign released a poll from WPA Research showing her in a statistical tie with Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene). WPA finds Buckingham leading King, 35%-34%, with 31% undecided. Both candidates have nearly identical name identification (68% each) and favorability ratings (Buckingham 40/11, King 39/11).

WPA finds Buckingham leads among self-identified conservative voters, 37%-32%, and trails among self-identified moderate voters, 40%-29%. WPA finds King leads, 52%-28%, in Abilene and West Texas while Buckingham leads, 36%-25%, in Austin and the Hill Country and 39%-28% in the Temple/Belton area. We do not know exactly how the poll split the district’s counties into these regions, but we calculated how the candidates fared in the primary in our best guess of these regions:

  • Abilene/West Texas: King 46%, Buckingham 19%
  • Austin/Hill Country: Buckingham 26%, King 24%
  • Temple/Belton: Buckingham 29%, King 16%

Two of the three are similar to the poll results. The poll shows Buckingham gaining ground in the Austin/Hill Country counties.

About 40% of Austin and Hill Country voters are undecided, compared with 32% in the Temple/Belton area and just 20% in Abilene and West Texas.

The poll of 400 likely Republican runoff voters was conducted via live telephone surveys April 17-19. Its stated margin of error is ±4.9%. The poll was in the field prior to negative press about Buckingham’s involvement with National American University, which was named in a U.S. Senate report looking into federal fund-supported student collegiate outcomes. Buckingham was a former board member. King has demanded Buckingham apologize to veterans for the university’s practices. Buckingham’s spokesman says King is trying to distract voters from the real issues in the race.

Disclosure: Jeff Blaylock, publisher of Texas Election Source, has been a patient of Dr. Dawn Buckingham.