With less than two days until the runoff for the GOP nomination in the Texas Senate race, Lt. Gov David Dewhurst has a narrow lead over rival Ted Cruz, according to a Dewhurst campaign internal poll obtained by Hotline on Call.
The survey, which was conducted this past Tuesday through Thursday, shows Dewhurst leading Cruz, 48 percent to 43 percent.
The poll was taken in the middle of the early voting period, which ended on Friday. Among voters who said they had already cast an early vote, Dewhurst holds a 49 percent to 42 percent advantage. He leads 50 percent to 41 percent among voters who said they planned to vote on Election Day.
The news isn't all bad for Cruz, the state's former solicitor general. Among the 79 percent of voters who said they will definitely vote, Dewhurst's overall advantage dropped by three points, with Dewhurst ahead 47 percent to 45 percent in that group.
The polling memo from Baselice & Associates, the well-known Texas GOP polling firm working for the Dewhurst campaign, notes that their sampling for the poll was not restricted only to Republicans who voted in the primary, which occurred May 29, the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. With higher turnout likely favoring Dewhurst, his campaign is optimistic that many voters who sat out the primary will cast ballots in the runoff.
The poll comes amid a growing sense that the momentum is on Cruz's side in the final days of the race. Dewhurst outpaced Cruz by 11 points in the May primary, but he failed to receive a majority of votes, triggering the runoff.
The Dewhurst internal poll surveyed 1,106 likely runoff voters. It carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.