Allred within striking distance of Cruz in 2024 Senate race, Poll shows Allred to lead Gutierrez in possible Democratic primary.

In what is being considered a surprising start to the 2024 U.S. Senate race in Texas, a recent poll shows that Congressman Colin Allred is trailing U.S. Senator Ted Cruz by only single digits. The survey, commissioned jointly by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and WFAA, reveals that Cruz has 47% support while Allred has secured 40% in a head-to-head race for the U.S. Senate in the state’s 2024 general election. The poll provides a hopeful outlook for Allred before the campaign trail begins to ramp up and he spends money on advertising to increase his name recognition outside of North Texas.

The single-digit difference between Cruz and Allred is an unexpected sign for the North Texas congressman, revealing his competitive edge at the outset of the race. The poll indicates that Allred is beginning the race where his predecessor, Beto O’Rourke, left off. For comparison, O’Rourke finished within two points of Sen. Cruz in the 2018 race; however, his high-water polling numbers stayed around 5-7% behind Cruz.

Jason Villalba, Chairman of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation and former Republican Texas state representative, expressed his surprise at Allred’s strong standing, stating, “For Allred to be within seven points of Cruz at the outset of this race is remarkable.” Villalba emphasized that Senator Cruz is a two-term incumbent who ran a robust campaign for President of the United States in 2016.

Allred will face other candidates in the Democratic primary next spring, including financial advisor and former Midland City Council member John Love. State Senator Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, told WFAA that he will officially decide in July whether to launch his own campaign for U.S. Senate.

In addition to the U.S. Senate race, the survey highlighted another interesting point: it showed President Biden closing in on Donald Trump in Texas if the two were to meet again in a rematch of the 2020 general election. Trump defeated Biden in Texas, 52% to 46% in 2020; however, the poll shows that Trump now has 44% support, and Biden trails him at 42%.

Former Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who officially announced his candidacy on Wednesday, is among those who will face Trump in the Republican primary next year. Trump, however, is currently leading the race by a significant margin, gaining 57% of support, while DeSantis has 36%, and another 5% remain undecided. 2% of respondents said they would not vote if Trump and DeSantis were their only two options.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters in May 2023. Dr. Mark P. Jones, the Director of Research and Analytics for TxHPF, believes that introducing the candidates to Texans over the course of the next year and making their case for change will be critical for the Democratic nominee.

However, given the uncertainty surrounding elections, polls should not be counted on as wholly conclusive predictors. The poll does provide a good litmus test for the political climate in the state and underscores the increasing shift towards the “purple-ization” of Texas brought on by the state’s changing demographics and the shifting political positions of suburban and exurban Texans.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, O’Rourke, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton are the five political figures with the highest favorable ratings among Texas registered voters. In contrast, four out of five of the worst-rated Texas political figures all hold Republican affiliation and include Abbott and Cruz.

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