By Ross Ramsey
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn leads Democratic challenger MJ Hegar by 8 percentage points in his reelection bid, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
The poll found 50% of likely voters in Texas prefer the Republican incumbent, while 42% favor Hegar. Kerry Douglas McKennon, a Libertarian, attracted the support of 3%.
In the state's presidential race, where President Donald Trump is leading former Vice President Joe Biden 50%-45%, there is a marked gender gap: Men favor Trump by 16 percentage points, while women favor Biden by 5 percentage points. Taken together, that amounts to a 21-point difference in support. In the Senate race, however, the gap barely exists: Men favor Cornyn by 8 percentage points, and women favor Cornyn by 4 percentage points.
And in a generic race for Congress — voters were asked whether they'd favor an unnamed Republican or an unnamed Democrat in a race for their own congressional district — Republicans had a 7-percentage-point advantage.
"It's not like Cornyn is blowing out Hegar, but the Cornyn race and then the generic battle for Congress really look more like party [affiliation] is reasserting itself," said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. He called the presidential race a referendum on the president, with different results than might be expected for a typical contest based on party.
Hegar, who hasn't held public office, isn't as well known as Cornyn, who was first elected to statewide office in 1990 and was elected to the Senate in 2002. More Texas voters viewed her positively than negatively — 33% said they have a favorable opinion of her, while 24% had an unfavorable one — and 43% registered no opinion at all.
Cornyn was rated positively by 38% of voters, and negatively by the same percentage. What's more, 24% of Texas voters, even after the years of seeing his name on the ballot, don't report having any real impression of him.
Voters aren't as well acquainted with Hegar as with her opponent, said James Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin.
"Her fate, even more than others, is going to be pretty tied to the presidential race. She's right there under the race," he said. "She does have 50% of independents, but 88% of Trump voters are with Cornyn, and 82% of Biden voters are with Hegar."
Compare Cornyn's job approval ratings with Ted Cruz, the state's junior U.S. senator and a former presidential candidate. Only 12% of Texas voters said either that they have a neutral or no opinion about Cruz, while 46% reported a favorable opinion and 42% said they had an unfavorable opinion.
Texans gave both senators higher marks than the institution where they serve. A majority — 60% — have a negative opinion of Congress, while only 20% said they approve of the job Congress is doing.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 25 to Oct. 4 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points. The margin of error for results from 908 likely voters is +/- 3.25 percentage points. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100% because of rounding.
More on the election:
The roar of Austin FC fans will be heard soon, as the newest Major League Soccer member looks to kick off their season in a brand new stadium in 2021.
- CapMetro targets Austin FC fans about Project Connect stop - austonia ›
- Austin FC's 2021 debut season shines as bright spot for fans ... ›
- Austin FC fans to host Matthew McConaughey in memers-only Q n A ... ›
- Austin FC installs stadium seats, stadium opening in spring - austonia ›
- austin-fc - austonia ›
- 1 1/2 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
- 1 maraschino cherry
You've seen and heard messaging from the city, transit opponents, and the big money PACs. You've probably read Emma Freer's in-depth, multi-part series, a fact-based exploration of Project Connect—and the tax rate election proposal, known as Proposition A, that would fund it—from multiple perspectives.
Chances are, if you moved to Austin in the past two years, it was probably for a tech job.
- Bay area tech workers eye moving to Austin post-pandemic - austonia ›
- Google delays returning to Austin offices as COVID-19 spikes ... ›
- Tech company Auctane signs lease at new Austin development ... ›
With films like Coco streaming on Disney+ and Day of the Dead Barbies lining Walmart shelves, it is clear that the commercial aspects of Dia de los Muertos are alive and well.
(Chris Caselli/Mexic-Arte Museum)
- 9 Austin business serving Halloween-inspired treats - austonia ›
- CDC guidelines for holidays in 2020 - austonia ›
- Zilker Park Holiday Tree installed, park closes for trail of lights ... ›
Today is going to be a windy one, according to The National Weather Service, which predicted breezy conditions in the Austin area and South Central Texas.
- Saharan dust storm expected to reach Texas this week - austonia ›
- For lovers of all things autumn: - austonia ›
- Hurricane Hanna brings flooding, power outages to southern Texas ... ›
In round figures the 18 active candidates running for the five seats on the Austin City Council raised a quarter-million dollars just in the last few weeks alone and they spent more than a half-million dollars during the same period. Total fundraising to date is nearly $1.2 million.