Dewhurst had the support of 40 percent of likely voters, followed by Cruz at 31 percent. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert had 17 percent and broadcaster and former football player Craig James was at 4 percent, with five other GOP candidates bringing up the rear.

Daron Shaw, a UT-Austin government professor and co-director of the poll, said Cruz has been able to position himself to the right of the lieutenant governor for a May 29 Republican primary where that’s a big advantage — and he’s done that in a year in which insurgent candidates have been scoring big wins against establishment Republicans…

“If they’re in a runoff, Dewhurst is in trouble,” Shaw said.