Benghazi

Texas-4 poll: Hall leads Ratcliffe 46% to 38%

Texas-4 poll: Hall leads Ratcliffe 46% to 38%
Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R.-Texas) with Katrina Pierson at a Texarkana, Texas rally. The "Come and Take It" flag recalls the taunt Texans made to Mexicans, who demanded they give up their weapons. (Courtesy of the Hall campaign)

In the May 27 Texas-4 GOP primary, the 91-year-old GOP congressman running to keep the seat he first won in 1980 is leading his former federal prosecutor challenger, John Ratcliffe as the two men approach Tuesday’s vote, according to a Human Events/Gravis poll.

Rep. Ralph M. Hall has the support of 46 percent of Republicans in district that covers suburbs and rural communities north of Dallas, compared to 38 percent supporting Ratcliffe, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based polling and call center company that conducted the May 12 poll of 656 Republican voters.

Kaplan said the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

“Hall is in a strong position because his approval rating with the voters is 51 percent with 30 percent disapproving,” he said. “Thirty-eight percent of voters approve of Ratcliffe compared to 25 percent disapproving.”

The congressman told Human Events he is confident about winning the primary.

“My enthusiasm and my energy are the same now as they were when I first started,” he said. “I am encouraged by the voters and the fact that they recognize the importance of honesty and integrity just as they always have.”

Hall said he is content to run on his record.

“The people have responded to the fact that I stand firm against Obamacare, push back against tax increases and stand up for Texas values,” he said.

“According to Congressional Quarterly I am in the top three percent of members of Congress opposing President Obama and his Marxist agenda, and that is one of the proudest honors that I have ever received,” he said.

Daniel Kroese, the Ratcliffe campaign manager, said he did not think the poll reflected what he was seeing in the ground.

“John has been crisscrossing the 18 counties in this district with a positive, solutions-oriented message about fixing the problems in Washington,” he said.

“The failed establishment in Washington isn’t getting the job done,” he said. “Voters are tired of seeing Republicans get outworked, outsmarted and outmaneuvered by Obama and the Democrats.  It’s time for Republicans to start winning again, and to do that, we need better leadership.”

Ratcliffe told Human Events, “As I travel this district, I keep hearing the same message from voters: The problems in this country are getting worse, not better, and it’s time for leaders that have the ability to stand up to Obama and his liberal agenda every single day.”

The former U.S. Attorney for President George W. Bush said, “I’m confident that on May 27th, a majority of voters will again vote for new ideas and fresh leadership.”

John Ratcliffe (Courtesy of the Ratcliffe Campaign)

John Ratcliffe (Courtesy of the Ratcliffe Campaign)

Kroese said Ratcliffe’s conservatism is why he is endorsed by groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund

“Simply put, John is the more conservative choice in this race,” he said.

“While Congressman Hall has voted to increase the debt limit seven times for almost $3.5 trillion of additional debt, John believes the stakes are too high to keep kicking the can down the road,” he said. “The time to get serious about stopping the out-of-control spending is now.”

Professor Calvin Jillson, who teaches political science at Southern Methodist University, said the race is close, but he expects Hall to win the primary.

Hall is one of the last of the Yellow Dog Democrats, a breed of conservative Democrats, whose legacy went back to when the party was the party of the Confederacy.

The congressman did not become a Republican until 2004, he said. “He stayed a Democrat, long after everyone else had switched.”

Jillson said because the district, which used to belong to longtime Speaker of the House Samuel T. Rayburn, has always been conservative, there was not much controversy when Hall switched parties because the voters, who had already become Republicans were waiting for him to catch up.

How conservative?

The poll also found that 85 percent of respondents believe President Barack Obama is lying about the attack on Benghazi, 79 percent believe Obama was aware of IRS targeting of conservatives, 56 percent believe mothers serving in the military should not be sent into a combat zone and only 15 percent believe of respondents believe the government should approve firearms transactions.

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