I didn’t see much that was surprising in yesterday’s University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Governor Perry’s numbers have slipped a little. His approval and disapproval were virtually equal at 41%, but the intensity was upside down: 16% approved strongly while 30% disapproved strongly. If that percentage were to be maintained throughout the electorate, Perry would be in big trouble.
Not surprisingly, U.S. senator Ted Cruz had the best numbers of any of the state’s most prominent officeholders: 40% approval, 31% disapproval. Cornyn is in dangerous territory with 31% approval, 29% disapproval, but he has no obvious opponent. I take this more as an indication of how little Cornyn is known, probably because he has been overshadowed by Cruz. Abbott looks pretty solid at 29% favorable, 20% unfavorable (roughly a 60/40 split).

In the race for lieutenant governor, which will have a large field and could get larger if Senator Dan Patrick enters the race, as expected, incumbent David Dewhurst is, like Perry, upside down on his favorable/unfavorable ratio: 29% unfavorable, 21% favorable. This is very bad for Dewhurst. Ever since the Senate race I have had grave doubts that he could get out of a large primary (Staples, Patterson, Patrick). There just isn’t much of a constituency for establishment Republicans in Texas these days.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stands for a TV news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 6, 2013. (AP Photo | J. Scott Applewhite)