The latest on the presidential horse race.

Ted Cruz Takes Huge Lead in Texas Primary

University of Texas/Texas Tribune, 2/7-2/17
Texas GOP

  • Cruz: 28
  • Perry: 10
  • Paul: 10
  • Ryan: 8
  • Bush: 8
  • Jindal: 6
  • Walker: 6
  • Rubio: 6
  • Christie: 4
  • Santorum: 4

Homefield advantage isn’t just important in sports, it’s quickly becoming a key aspect of the 2016 primary schedule. With Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio sitting pretty in Florida and Paul Ryan and Scott Walker leading in Wisconsin, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has taken a homefield lead himself, leading the Lone Star State’s primary race with a whopping 28 percent of the vote.

According a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, conducted between February 7 and February 17, sampling 543 Republican primary voters, the Tea Party favorite remains the odds-on favorite in the state’s primary race, leading every other potential candidate by nearly 20 points.

While Cruz is seeing a massive homefield advantage, Texas Governor Rick Perry only gets a slight home state bump. Perry finished second in the poll but only received 10 percent of the vote, far less than the freshman senator. In the last poll, conducted in October, Perry received the same 10 percent of the vote.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, tied Perry with 10 percent of the vote, a significant bump from the 6 percent he saw in October.

Every other potential candidate failed to reach double-digits as the large GOP pack remains hopelessly split. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finished behind Paul with 8 percent of the vote, tying former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the brother of former President and Texas Governor George W. Bush.

Bobby Jindal, the Governor of neighboring Louisiana, received 6 percent of the vote, as did Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In October, Jindal was polling at just 3 percent while Walker received a mere 1 percent. Florida Senator Marci Rubio received 6 percent as well, the same percentage as he saw in October.

Trailing the pack were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, finishing last with 4 percent apiece. Neither had gotten much traction in Texas to begin with.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they were undecided so Cruz’s lead is essentially insurmountable unless other candidates drop out of the race. Cruz owns a 52 percent favorable rating among Texas Republicans so the Tea Party favorite has a good chance to disrupt the primary calendar with a big win in his home state.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)