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Texas GOP Poll: ‘Tea Party’ challenger beats Cornyn 46% to 33%

Texas GOP Poll: 'Tea Party' challenger beats Cornyn 46% to 33%
Sen. John Cornyn III (R.-Texas)

A generic “Tea Party” candidate beats Sen. John Cornyn III  (R.-Texas) in a Oct. 26 Human Events/Gravis poll of Republican voters in Texas 46 percent to 33 percent for the GOP’s number two senator.

The poll clearly shows Cornyn is trouble, especially when you see that in the poll Sen. R. Edward Cruz (R.-Texas) has a job approval rating of 73 percent among Republicans and Cornyn 46 percent, said the pollster Doug Kaplan, who founded Gravis Marketing in 2010 and whose polls were included in the Real Clear Politics basket of polls during the 2012 campaign.

The Republican primary is March 4. The day for candidates to file for the primary is Nov. 9 with a Dec. 9 filing deadline.

In head-to-head questions the only named individual who beat Cornyn was former Republican congressman Ronald D. Paul, who beat Cornyn 44 percent to 34 percent, but that could be a function of name recognition, Kaplan said.

“From the results of this poll, a lesser-known candidate could close the gap by embracing the Tea Party label,” he said.

The other named head-to-head results against Cornyn were: Rep. Stephen E. Stockman (R-Texas) 15 percent v. Cornyn,, Rep. Louis B. Gohmert Jr., (R.-Texas) 20 percent v. Cornyn 45 percent and Rafael Cruz, father of the Texas senator: 33 percent v. Cornyn 39 percent

Kaplan said another sign that Cornyn is vulnerable is the large numbers of respondents, who said they were undecided, those typically swing against an incumbent.

When all four men were polled against each other, Rafael Cruz came out on top with 41 percent. The others followed with Cornyn 25 percent, Paul 18 percent and Stockman with 3 percent and 13 percent unsure.

Sen. R. Edward Cruz (R.-Texas) with his father Rafael Cruz

Sen. R. Edward Cruz (R.-Texas) with his father Rafael Cruz

Erick W. Erickson, who runs the conservative commentary and news site, said voters are clued into the difference between how Cornyn’s talks in Texas and walks in Washington.

“The Gravis polling shows more and more that Senators like John Cornyn cannot tell constituents at home he supports defunding Obamacare and then work in Washington to undermine the defunding fight,” Erickson said.

“Voters are paying attention,” the Fox News commentator said.

Matt Kibbe, the president of Freedom Works, the national Tea Party support organization, said he is not surprised that of the two senators, Texas Republicans have a higher opinion of Cruz than Cornyn.

Senator Cruz made very clear promises to Texans during his senatorial campaign, and he is keeping them,” he said.

“The numbers clearly show that grassroots activists are standing with Cruz every step of the way because he is a bold leader who is strong enough to not get sucked into the deal-making quicksand in Washington,” he said. “Texans mean what they say, and say what they mean, and they deserve representation in Washington that will do the same.”

Sal Russo, chief strategist and co-founder of the Tea Party Express, said he is not surprised that Texas voters would be open to a primary challenge to Cornyn.

“What the establishment Republicans forget is the frustration felt by the Tea Party about what happens in Washington,” he said. “The go-along to get-along is not the attitude what Americans want to see.”

Russo said the gulf between the conservatives and the GOP leadership is not the same or as large as it was in 1964 or even 1980. After Ronald W. Reagan was elected, many Republicans urged Reagan to give up his promises to cut spending and taxes.

“Now the battles are about tactics,” said Russo, who started working for Ronald W. Reagan as a 19-year-old. Most Republicans agree on conservative principles, but disagree the best way to achieve them.

The problem is that if a Republican campaigns as a conservative and then becomes something else in Washington, the voters are going to be angry, he said.

Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said Texans should be proud of elected officials like Senator Cruz.

Sen. Ted Cruz has bravely led the fight against gross government overreach by working tirelessly to defeat Obamacare, which is showing clearer indications every day that it will be an incredible burden on the country,” she said.

“We need more elected officials like Sen. Cruz who have taken a ‘damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead’ approach and are more concerned about their constituents and the path of this country,” she said.

The poll showed that only 20 percent of Texas Republicans believe Cornyn understands the problems of regular Texans.

Martin said the values of Texans are aligned with the goals of the Tea Party.

“Texans pride themselves on their self- sufficiency and as a result, it isn’t a surprise that the Tea Party’s core values of restoring a constitutionally limited, fiscally responsible government resonate strongly with the majority of the Republican voters in the state,” she said.

“This poll has clear indications—Texans want representatives who care more about what is right for the country and Texas than making deals in Washington,” Martin said.

Other results of the poll give insight into how Texas Republicans expect their members of Congress to vote with 79 percent supporting the campaign to defund Obamacare, 81 percent opposing amnesty for illegal aliens and only 20 percent supporting federally-supported farm income.

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  • exodus2012

    in the cases of Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz – they are trusted and cleaved to because their rhetoric and record match

    this places them in that unique and sought after category:

    The Real Conservative Deal

    (It’s nice to see your CAPS LOCK key is behaving today)

  • Camelot4me

    The Ted Cruz and Rand Paul types are us. Don’t ask others to do or fight for what you are not willing to do or fight for yourself. It is up to us to step up and fight for freedom In American, it has always been up to the people. That is what makes us different and exceptional.

  • Ethan Xanderphone

    Government is always obese until it is you who is standing in the mirror looking to squeeze into that outfit.

    Everyone forgets what government does, until it is you who needs it.

  • Ethan Xanderphone

    This is awesome news to every Democrat out there.

    You people realize that Wendy Davis is competitive.


    Keep spiking that tea folks, it’s making you so that you can’t even see straight!

  • brickman

    Can someone legally changed his name to “Tea Party” under Texas Law? It appears that the people with real names still lose to Cornyn.

  • MarniT

    I’m not opposed to Libertarians. I supported Ron Paul, in fact.

  • Micky Baker

    Actually, they don’t run in every election.

  • Micky Baker

    No they aren’t. It’s pretty obvious that Ted Cruz was right given what you know about Obamacare now. It should have been defunded. It’s in the death spiral(but it’s the country that’s going to suffer).

  • Micky Baker

    Ted Cruz will win in 2016 if he runs for President. He’ll get all the Libertarians, Conservatives outnumber liberals 2:1. Ted Cruz would get the independents and the conservatives both. LANDSLIDE.

  • Micky Baker

    Actually, the RINOS had no strategy at all.

  • Micky Baker

    We need you and everyone here on twitter letting Cornyn know that on a public venue. Let him know that we aren’t happy. Of course this poll shows that he should know but his staff was quite arrogant. I don’t think they’ll get it.

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  • MarniT

    I wish…I’d like to see it happen, but I don’t think America is ready even YET for Ted Cruz at the helm.

  • sbut01

    I’ve heard Rafael Cruz speak, he is a true patriot and loves America and freedom.

  • darrell_b8

    “ABC”….Anybody But Cornyn……..Louie Gohment or Sr. Cruz gets my $$ and vote.

  • sbut01

    You’re right. How many repubicans were saying “we can’t win” before the fight even started?

  • EpicMale

    No lawyers need apply! We need business owners, farmers, ranchers, plumbers, preachers…anyone… but not more lawyers. We want people that have had to make payrolls, struggle to pay ever more burdensome taxes and conform to incredibly stultifying regulations. Put a REAL human being into Cornyn’s Senate seat. Our best bet is a strong TEA Party member!

  • Beedogs

    Incumbents have done NOTHING to curtail the constitutional abuses of Barack Obama, or to curtail spending and lower the national debt. Vote the incumbents OUT.

  • Beedogs

    Fix your keyboard or buy a new one you arrogant cheap POS. You lie just like Obama- blame a keyboard for your incompetence.

  • pappap42

    Cornyn is a member of the GOP? No he is a member of the John McCave RINO party, that is the demoRAT/light party. A branch of the communist party USA.

  • DrSique

    Yup, you. You side with the establishment GOPers who use the excuse of “tactics” to do NOTHING!!! Their usual MO. The first step to shedding your RINO skin is admitting that you have a problem.

  • DrSique

    Three more years of Obama just might get America primed for an honest to goodness conservative.

  • DrSique

    Yeah right. You effin libertarians throw too many winnable elections standing on your principles. It is happening in Virginia, right now!!! The “Ron Paul Revolution” was more like a water gun fight. Use your brain, instead of your emotions, and we just might rid the country of some of the dead wood politicians.

  • rayhause

    Many in our state(Texas) are attempting to Draft David Barton who definitely would be a great conservative and delights Glenn Beck.

  • Jordan Breon

    I don’t forget what the government does. It kills. It steals. It lies.

  • Paul Frantizek

    Cornyn needs to go. The GOP in TX is too strong to put forward these weak-sister types.

    I can see why a state like MI or CT would tolerate a lukewarm RINO, but it’s unacceptable in TX.

  • 12wlw12

    Actually, “those kind” are killing the Established, life time, feeding off the taxpayer.. RINOs. I haven’t decided who I will vote for but… it certainly wont be for Cornyn… Demonrats need him, we don’t!

  • 12wlw12

    Not familiar with Lee Bright but have researched Bevin. Ky. would do well to elect him.

  • 12wlw12

    Perfect example of what McConnell is trying to do to Bevin. Mr. Bevin was involved in two situations which he had nothing to do with and no control of… Mitch painted Mr. Bevin with the situations but omitted the facts of his innocence, and Mr. Bevin rectified both situations as soon as he had the authority to do so! Mr. McConnell failed to mention those little tidbits!
    That falls under the heading of “misrepresentation” … as you said!

  • purple1960


  • sandra

    then let it die, they are killing America and your freedom is at stake. if you are a conservative you would know this with out question. We fought for freedom and we will not give it up to any political party.

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  • podgida

    Ron Paul was a Republican wink wink. He was more of a Libertarian, but was running under the Republican ticket. The Libertarian this time around was Gary Johnson.

  • podgida

    Why should I vote for someone I don’t like? I hated Romney, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to vote for Obama. My only choice was Gary Johnson. He is the only one out of the three I even remotely liked. Isn’t that what elections are for? Vote for the candidate that you like?

  • podgida

    They lost as soon as they put Romney as their front runner. They didn’t have a chance with him. It needed to be Ron Paul. Then all of the Libertarian votes would have gone Republican, and would have stolen a few Democratic votes as well. The election would have turned out completely different.

  • podgida

    And while I’m thinking about it. You Republicans screwed yourselves. You have no one to blame but the person staring back at you in the mirror. You people are the ones that put Romney up as a front runner. He didn’t have a prayer to beating Obama. His drug policy was terrible. So he had no chance in picking up the Libertarian votes, nor did he have a chance in swaying any democratic voters. If you guys would have put Ron Paul up front, Obama would not be president.