If Leppert stays above 20 percent, it will be a good sign for Cruz. If he drops below 15 percent, Dewhurst's camp will likely be the one celebrating. Dewhurst hit Leppert at the very end of the race with a negative ad in a late effort to eat into this support. We will see tomorrow night how much effect the ad had on GOP voters.
How low will turnout be?
No one expects an election the day after Memorial Day with no competitive presidential primary at the top of the ticket to attract many voters, but just what will turnout look like? The lower the turnout, the better the chance Cruz's team thinks they have.
The Austin American-Statesman
reported that early voting turnout in the top 15 counties surpassed early voting numbers in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, but Tuesday's vote - which was pushed back twice because of a legal tussle of the state's new congressional lines - could attract few voters.
Can Cruz improve on the performances of past Hispanic candidates in Texas?
Hispanic candidates do not have a great record in Republican primaries in Texas. But when was the last time a Latino statewide candidate has generated as much buzz as Cruz?
Immigration politics became a focal point during the final week of the race. Dewhurst's closing attack against Cruz - an ad tying him to pro-amnesty groups - prompted a swift rebuke from the former state solicitor general, who said
on Saturday that Dewhurst's advisers believe that GOP voters in Texas won't support a Hispanic and "anyone with a 'Z' in their name is unelectable."
Margin of Victory:
If he fails to get 50 percent on Tuesday, Dewhurst's margin of victory over the second-place finisher will give an indication of how competitive the runoff might be. Many analysts have predicted that with another two months of campaigning and the low turnout likely to come with a runoff, Cruz has a good chance of beating the frontrunner in July. But it's a lot easier to overcome a ten point deficit than a 20 point one. If Dewhurst finishes in the high 40's and the runner-up finishes between 25 and 30 percent, Dewhurst will still be very tough to beat in a runoff.