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The Brief: Nov. 5, 2013

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll confirms that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has solidified his status as the biggest star in the Texas GOP firmament.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz greets a Texas Federation of Republican Women worker in San Antonio on October 19, 2013

The Big Conversation

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll confirms that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has solidified his status as the biggest star in the Texas GOP firmament.

Or, as The Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey reports it this morning, "Democrats don’t seem to like Cruz, Republicans like him a lot and those who identify themselves as Tea Party voters love him."

That can be seen in Cruz's favorable/unfavorable splits among those three groups — 9/75 for Democrats, 52/19 for Republicans and an incredible 92/2 for Tea Party supporters.

Cruz's polarizing effect extends even further than those numbers above would indicate. Ramsey goes on to write: "And among those Tea Party identifiers, 72 percent have 'very favorable' opinions of Cruz. On the other end, 70 percent of Democrats chose 'very unfavorable.' Those who identified as Republicans when given a choice between that and Tea Party were less fervent: 22 percent gave Cruz 'very favorable' ratings, while 30 percent said their opinion was 'somewhat favorable.'”

Texas Republicans' approval also means he has their strong support right now for a run for president in 2016. He was favored by 32 percent of self-identified Republicans. Gov. Rick Perry was in second place with 10 percent. Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan followed with 9 percent and 7 percent support, respectively.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite for 2016. She was favored by 67 percent of Texas Democrats. She was trailed by Joe Biden with 7 percent and Elizabeth Warren with 5 percent support.

For those interested, here's a summary of the poll's methodology: "The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted Oct. 18-27 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. Results among self-identified Republican primary voters carry a margin of error of +/- 5.02 percentage points; among Democratic primary voters, +/- 6.03 percentage points."


•    Book Describes Rise, Fall of Perry's 2012 Campaign (The Texas Tribune): "Double Down, while chiefly focused on nominees Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, chronicles Perry’s rise and fall in rich and colorful new detail. And it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the governor had no business ever getting in the race for president: When Perry decided to run, in July 2011, he and his team had conducted no survey research, no polls and no analysis of his Texas record, the authors write. Nor did they have a clue about how debilitating his July 1 back surgery would be."

•    A Battle for the Heart of the GOP Breaks Out in Texas (Newsweek): "For some ultra-conservative activists in Texas, Republican Senator John Cornyn just isn’t cutting it anymore. For example, he signed a letter circulated in the Senate over the summer threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare funding. A member of the party’s leadership team in the Senate, Cornyn thought better of it a few days later and withdrew his name."

•    Holder: American, US Airways must shed slots at multiple airports (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicated Monday that a settlement with the federal government is possible to allow the merger of Fort Worth-based American Airlines and US Airways, but only if the airlines shed assets at key airports across the country."

•    Research links carbon dioxide burial, quakes (San Antonio Express-News): "A cluster of earthquakes in Texas may be tied to oil companies injecting carbon dioxide into deep rock formations in the region, a paper released Monday suggests. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first to look closely at the potential repercussions of injecting carbon dioxide underground, both to store the greenhouse gas and to help enhance oil recovery."

•    Former House Speaker Jim Wright gets ID to vote (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): "Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright will be able to vote in Tuesday’s elections. The 90-year-old, who was unable to get a voter ID card Saturday at a local Department of Public Safety office because he didn’t have the proper paperwork with him, went back Monday and tried again."

Quote to Note“That was very disappointing. I think that John Cornyn has decided to go along to get along. And I’m very sad about that.” — Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams describing to Newsweek her reaction to Cornyn's decision to withdraw his name from a letter this summer that threatened to shut down the government to force the defunding of Obamacare


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Health care Politics John Cornyn Rick Perry Ted Cruz