David Dewhurst should win the Texas Senate runoff in July. He beat Ted Cruz 45-34 last night, and our last poll before the election found that supporters of third place finisher Tom Leppert would support him over Cruz by a 77-13 margin in a hypothetical head to head that has now become a reality. Overall Dewhurst led Cruz 59-34 in a potential runoff.
I think it's going to end up being a lot closer than that though, and think Cruz even has a modest chance to win. It's all about turnout and enthusiasm. We found last week that 49% of Cruz's supporters were 'very excited' about voting for him. Only 27% of Dewhurst's expressed the same sentiment. Among that most enthusiastic group of voters Cruz led Dewhurst 42-37 for yesterday's primary, and trailed only 48-46 in a hypothetical runoff contest. It's hard to say what turnout will be in July but assuming it's lower than it was yesterday that will work to Cruz's advantage due to the passion of his supporters.
Dewhurst should win in July- but there are some reasons to think it could get interesting.