A recent unscientific survey conducted by the Amarillo Pioneer shows that local readers are backing several incumbents in statewide contests.
According to the results of the Amarillo Pioneer's June survey for the November general election, readers are backing incumbents in a number of races. However, nominees from the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party are also seeing surging support in a series of contests.
First, in the race for the U.S. Senate, Pioneer readers gave incumbent Republican Ted Cruz the edge in the high-profile contest. Cruz, a Houston attorney, won 54 percent of support in the survey, with Democrat Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso businessman and congressman, receiving 32 percent. Libertarian Neal Dikeman, a Houston venture capitalist, received 14 percent in the survey.
Next, in the race for governor, incumbent Republican Greg Abbott is the favorite among readers, pulling in 62 percent of the measured support. Former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee, received 24 percent and Libertarian attorney Mark Tippetts won 14 percent in the survey.
For Lieutenant Governor, readers picked Republican incumbent Dan Patrick as their favorite for November. Patrick won 52 percent of measured support, versus Democrat Mike Collier's 26 percent. Libertarian Kerry McKennon received 22 percent of support in the survey.
For Attorney General, incumbent Republican Ken Paxton is holding a lead among Pioneer readers. In the survey, readers gave Paxton the edge, 51 percent to 26 percent for Democrat Justin Nelson. Libertarian Michael Ray Harris received 23 percent of support in the survey.
Republican incumbent Glenn Hegar is also the favorite for Comptroller, receiving 55 percent of support from Pioneer readers. Democrat Joi Chevalier received 24 percent and Libertarian Ben Sanders won 21 percent of support in the survey.
For Agriculture Commissioner, incumbent Sid Miller was the favorite among Pioneer readers. Miller, a Republican, won 54 percent of support in the survey. Richard Carpenter, the Libertarian nominee, placed second in the survey, winning 25 percent. Democrat Kim Olson won 21 percent.
Among all of the incumbents seeking re-election, Pioneer readers selected Republican George P. Bush as the most unpopular. In his re-election bid for Land Commissioner, Bush won 43 percent in the survey, versus Democrat Miguel Suazo at 32 percent. Libertarian Matt Pina won 25 percent of support.
For Railroad Commissioner, Pioneer readers gave Republican Christi Craddick the majority of support, winning 50 percent of the votes cast. Democrat Roman McAllen won 31 percent and Libertarian Mike Wright won 19 percent.
In the statewide Supreme Court of Texas races, Republicans won support in each race. Jimmy Blacklock, the Republican nominee for Supreme Court Place 2, won 65 percent over Democrat Steven Kirkland in that race. Supreme Court Place 4 justice John Devine, a Republican, won 68 percent of support in his race, versus Democrat R.K. Sandill with 32 percent. Jeff Brown, the Republican incumbent for Supreme Court Place 6, won 69 percent of support over Democrat Kathy Cheng in his race.
In the three Texas Court of Criminal Appeals races, Republican nominees all received the bulk of support. For Place 1, incumbent Sharon Keller won 57 percent over Democrat Maria Jackson at 30 percent. Libertarian William Bryan Strange won 13 percent. For Place 7, Republican Barbara Hervey won 67 percent over Democrat Ramona Franklin's 33 percent. Finally, for Place 8, Republican Michelle Slaughter won 68 percent over Libertarian Mark Ash at 32 percent.
Locally, readers voiced their displeasure with at least one longtime incumbent and gave others the nod for re-election. For U.S. Congress, District 13, Republican incumbent Mac Thornberry won the most support. Thornberry won 43 percent against Democrat Greg Sagan's 30 percent. Libertarian Calvin DeWeese received 27 percent in the survey.
For State Senator District 31, incumbent Republican Kel Seliger is still showing the wounds of a brutal primary campaign. Libertarian Jack Westbrook topped Seliger in the poll, 62 percent to 38 percent.
In Potter County, readers selected Republican police officer Robert Taylor as the favorite to replace Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Richard Herman. Taylor received 56 percent over Democrat Claudia Griego's 44 percent.
Finally, in Randall County, Republican incumbent John Smithee is the favorite for re-election to the Texas House of Representatives. Smithee won 50 percent in the survey, versus 35 percent for Democrat Mike Purcell. Matthew Flores, a Libertarian who is no longer listed as the party's nominee on lptexas.org, won 15 percent in the survey.
Over 150 responses came in during the survey, with 51 percent of respondents indicating that they were from Randall County. Potter County readers made up 41 percent of respondents and the remaining percentage points came in from Donley, Hutchinson, Bexar, Hall and Travis Counties.
Another poll will be conducted for Amarillo Pioneer readers in late September and early October. The general election will be held in early November.