A new poll from Public Policy Polling, a liberal-leaning outfit, finds that Tea Party Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz has 52-42 lead over the establishment Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst heading into Tuesday’s Texas Republican Senate primary runoff.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint went to Texas to rally for Cruz on Friday along with local Texas Tea Party leaders to get out the vote for Cruz. The PPP poll shows Cruz is being powered by the Tea Party.
Cruz’s numbers are more impressive when one considers he only had a 5 point lead two weeks ago. He has a 75-22 margin with Tea Party voters, a 63-33 advantage among voters who are “very excited” about voting on Tuesday, and a 55-40 lead among voters who already voted during last week’s early voting period.
In a low-turnout primary, one of the latest primary election dates in Texas history, when the weather is going to be scorching, the candidate who turns out his most enthusiastic supporters has the advantage. And all signs indicate that that candidate is Cruz.
Furthermore, Cruz leads 49-44 among those who have yet to vote.
The survey found that 31 percent of voters in Texas said they are more likely to vote for a candidate backed by Palin while only 16 percent said the same for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has endorsed Dewhurst.
On Friday, Palin teased Perry when she told the crowd that she was wearing boots Perry had given her and “at least in that case he made a good decision,” in reference to Perry’s support of Dewhurst. Palin did say that -- after the runoff -- she and Perry would again be on the same team fighting against liberals like Obama.
DeMint said on Friday Cruz would win in a “landslide victory” and the Republican establishment is “not going to sleep very well” after Tuesday.
DeMint said candidacies such as Cruz’s “could not happen under the old rules but is possible under the new reality.”
And no candidate represents that new reality more than Palin, who has gone around the mainstream media and the Republican establishment to be the voice of the conservative Tea Party grassroots.
Palin said at the rally that she would go to a Chick-fil-A on the way back to the airport and then tweeted two pictures from her visit there in another instance of how she is able to cleverly use culture to get her political message across.
At the rally, Palin said Cruz “represents the positive change that we need” and that is why the establishment “will stop at nothing” to stop candidates like him and “that is why you see disgusting ads thrown at him.”
Palin said “we can get America back on track by sending true conservatives” like Cruz to D.C. because he is someone who will not go to Washington to “make nice with the chichi cocktail crowd” and fight to restore the country to its founding principles. Palin said Cruz's “still standing tall” after the negative attacks hurled at him by Dewhurst’s campaign, and that is evocative of his fighting spirit.
“Fighters like Ted Cruz can lead the charge for us,” Palin said.
And according to the Public Policy Poll, Texas Republicans are agreeing with this sentiment.