Until now polls in the Texas-14 congressional race have come from the Ron Paul and Chris Peden campaigns, which Paul claiming he's up big and Peden claiming he's up by low double digits. Today brings the first public poll on the race and it shows Paul cruising to a win. Key findings:
– Overall, Paul leads Peden 63-30 percent. Paul leads by 37 points with women and 29 points with men.
– Paul does best with voters under 30, winning them by 64 points. He does worst with voters between 30 and 45, winning by only 19 points.
– Paul easily wins voters whose top concerns are the economy (70-26 Paul over Peden), taxes (65-24), "moral and family values" (65-28), Iraq (64-27), immigration (59-33), and health care (52-36) The only group Peden wins is voters concerned with education: They go for him by 14 points.
– Newsletters be damned: Paul does best with non-white voters, leading among Hispanics by 45 points and other minorities by 59 points. (The district is 25 percent Hispanic, 10 percent black, and 2 percent Asian, although obviously the GOP primary vote is heavily white.)
The worst news for Paul is probably that a mere 18 percent of TX-14 voters will cast presidential ballots for him. Dean Debman of PPP says that suspending his presidential campaign probably saved his job in the house. "If he had continued to spend most of his time campaigning out of state he might have been in trouble," Debman said in a statement," but it doesn't appear he's facing too much damage on the home front for his national candidacy." Still, it's likely Paul will come out of the Texas primary with no convention delegates.
I've called the Peden campaign to ask about this, since they've been telling national political writers that an upset was brewing. But Peden has suggested he might run in 2010, which hints that 1)he doesn't expect to win at all and 2)he thinks he's getting set up for the eventual battle to replace Paul when he's ready to retire.