Is Ted Cruz really in electoral trouble in Texas?

While Ted Cruz may be out of the presidential sweepstakes for now, he’s still got a job to do in the Senate. But in order to do that all the way through the next presidential race he’s going to need to win another term in the upper chamber first. No problem, right? Texas is still a solidly red state and it’s Cruz country through and through.

Hold the phone there, partner. If the new CBS / Dixie Strategies numbers out this week are correct, some of the bloom is off Ted Cruz’s yellow rose of Texas, at least for the moment. (CBS Local, Dallas-Fort Worth)

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Republican presidential primary in Texas with nearly 44 percent of the vote. But most voters now do not think very highly of the U.S. lawmaker, according to the latest KTVT-CBS 11/Dixie Strategies Poll numbers which were released on Thursday.

More than 52 percent of those likely to vote in the upcoming election said that they found Cruz to be “very unfavorable.” This opinion extends across all race and gender lines, and matches closely to the thoughts of those in the DFW area specifically.

While the GOP nominee has been a point of divisiveness within the party, Cruz’s choice to not endorse the real estate mogul has turned voters against him, the survey showed.

CruzPoll

As much as some of you won’t want to admit it, the reason cited for this sag in popularity can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. When asked if Cruz’s decision not to endorse Trump made them view the Senator more or less favorably, more than 53% said the non-endorsement led them to be either somewhat or much less impressed. The conclusion here seems to be that Cruz may have beaten Trump in the Texas primary race, but once the nomination was set, Texas Republicans were ready to get on board and try to defeat Hillary Clinton.

But the real question is whether or not this could translate into actual trouble in the next senate election in the Lone Star State. It’s far too early to lock in your bets, but these initial numbers will have Ted Cruz staying up late.

CruzPoll2

This poll of registered voters actually has Joaquin Castro winning by two percent (inside the margin of error) with voters looking for other options. One quarter are undecided and more than 17% are shopping for a new candidate. But again, this is so far out from the actual election that we can’t read too much into it. Also, the heat of the presidential race is still upon us and Trump is on everyone’s minds. When this period of fever finally ends next year (no matter who wins) some of that anger will likely fade. This is a statewide election and I still find it highly unlikely that a Republican will lose that race.

cruz-st2