A new poll from the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute was released on Thursday, the same day the GOP presidential debate is scheduled to be held in Houston, Texas. The results of the poll show one candidate with a stunning lead in the Lone Star State ahead of the Texas GOP Primary. The state’s primary will be held on Super Tuesday, March 1, and has the largest number of delegates at stake on that day.
There are 155 delegates that will go to the GOP convention from the Lone Star State and, according to Monmouth, Texas Senator and constitutional conservative Ted Cruz is poised to receive the bulk of them.
Cruz is ahead of the pack in Texas with 38% support. Coming in a distant second in this poll is bombastic billionaire Donald Trump who garners 23%. That puts him at a 15% disadvantage against Cruz. Florida Senator Marco Rubio rounds out the top three with 21%.
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Among voters who identify themselves as very conservative, Ted Cruz does very well with 54% support. Those who consider themselves to be somewhat conservative also strongly favor Cruz at 37%. Moderates give Cruz a 10% nod, but that particular group only makes up one-fifth of GOP voters in Texas.
In analyzing the GOP presidential primary in Texas, Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, “Cruz looks to be well-positioned in Texas.”
The early voting numbers in Texas also swing in Cruz’s favor. Eighteen percent of those who voted early were polled with 44% saying they cast their vote for Cruz.
Cruz would also fair well if both Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson were no longer in the race. When asked who they would support as president if the race came down to Cruz, Trump, and Rubio, the lead of Ted Cruz increased even more.
In that scenario, 43% said they’d support Ted Cruz, 26% favored Rubio, and 23% would support Trump.
Monmouth University polled 456 Texas voters who were likely to vote in the GOP primary. The poll was conducted by phone from February 22 – 24. It has a margin of error of +4.6 percent.