A new poll suggests what many have known all along -- John Cornyn is at best lukewarm with Republican primary voters. A runoff is beginning to look more likely as the last 5 known polls taken on the race for the U.S. Senate nomination have Cornyn with less than 50% support. That's always bad news for an incumbent. The good news for Cornyn is 2nd place has typically been taken by "Unsure," a name that won't actually be appearing on the ballot.
Cornyn's biggest asset besides his enormous war chest, is his lack of a high-profile and credible candidate, he just happens to have one of each (talk about splitting the vote!). His high-profile candidate who typically comes in behind "unsure" is Congressman Steve Stockman who received 28% in the latest poll, while Cornyn took just 43%. But, the more credible candidate Dwayne Stovall has been quietly (as far as media attention is concerned) gathering Tea Party endorsements and straw poll victories across the state.
See how Cornyn's opponents reacted to the new poll results below the jump...
According to Steve Stockman's website, "This is the fifth poll published in Cornyn's race. All five show Cornyn forced into a runoff." Fortunately for Big John neither candidate currently has the funds to go on TV. But, that didn't stop Dwayne Stovall from posting an incredibly funny campaign video on Youtube entitled "Turtle Soup" that has gathered nearly 30,000 views in less than a week. In the video Stovall chastises Cornyn's voting record and motives saying, "you certainly don't do all this to please some guy who looks and fights like a turtle," referencing Mitch McConnell, adding, "We Texan's don't need a beltway turtle telling us how to fight."
One major fault of the latest poll by Gravis, is that Stockman was the only candidate listed as an alternative to Cornyn. This may have actually boosted Cornyn's performance since voters familiar with Stockman may have preferred a third option.
Stovall claims to have won every Tea-Party straw poll conducted in the race so far and boasts a list of over 20 Tea Party groups that have endorsed him. One statewide group called Grassroots American referred to Stovall as, "the only viable candidate in the race," pointing to Stockman's lack of financial transparency and Cornyn unwillingness to fight for true conservative values. Another group called Southern Conservative switched it support from Stockman to Stovall and said, "It has become evident to Southern Conservative that Stovall is the our State's best fit," citing, "Stockman, after committing to attend multiple Tea Party Events, did not make an appearance or extend a courtesy call as to why."
For his part, Stockman is also touting the latest poll numbers as a victory and claiming that he is set to face Cornyn in a runoff. His campaign spokesperson said, "The buzzards are circling over John Cornyn. A runoff is an incumbent's death sentence." His campaign also used the opportunity to claim that, "this is why Cornyn refuses to release his internal poll numbers," and that they, "fully expect Cornyn to now begin producing phony polls and try to put out fires." The Stockman campaign also pointed out that, "John Cornyn has been a statewide elected official for 22 years and has spent millions on TV ads," concluding that, "if he isn't over 50 percent by now, history shows won't happen in just 14 days."
That conclusion may be one of the credible statements to come out of the Stockman campaign since, well, ever. In 2012, a well funded David Dewhurst had gather 45% in the Primary before losing in the runoff for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz.