Who Will Texans Choose For U.S. Senate? A Fourth Still Don't Know

Oct 2, 2012

What could surprise pollsters releasing a statewide U.S. Senate poll Tuesday? Five weeks before the election, more than a quarter of registered voters in Texas remain undecided.

The non-partisan Texas Lyceum poll predictably showed Republican Ted Cruz with a red state advantage leading Democrat Paul Sadler by double digits- 50 percent to 24 percent. But 26 percent of voters still don’t know who will get their vote for U.S. Senate.

“It is surprising that in the context of presidential elections people just don’t seem to have tuned in to the down ballot races,” said pollster Daron Shaw.  “They barely seem to be registering on the radar screen.”

A large number of “I don’t knows” also showed up in other Texas races - 29 percent don’t know how they’ll vote for U.S. House of Representatives, and 30 percent don’t know which candidate they’ll support for the Texas House of Representatives.

Shaw says the presidential election may be to blame.  It may be “sucking all of the oxygen out of the electorate.” 

“Or it may be people will warm up to these other races very late,” said Shaw, who is also a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.