-John Cornyn's been in the US Senate for more than 10 years now, but he still hasn't made much of an impact on Texas voters. Our newest poll finds that only 36% approve of him to 33% who disapprove and 31% who don't have an opinion either way.
That still doesn't make Cornyn terribly vulnerable for reelection in his GOP heavy state. He leads four Democrats we tested against him by margins ranging from 7 to 13 points: he's up 47/40 on Bill White, 48/40 on Wendy Davis, 49/36 on Annise Parker, and 50/37 on Julian Castro.
-By a 54/21 margin Texas voters say that they support the Voting Rights Act, including 45/23 even with Republicans. Only 29% of voters say that they favor the Supreme Court's decision to overturn parts of the VRA last week, with 45% opposed.
-It's going to be a while before Texas voters get on board with gay marriage- we find that only 34% of voters in the state support it to 57% who are opposed. As we find in most of the South though the hang up for Texans is more the term 'marriage' than opposing equal legal rights for same sex couples- we find that 63% of voters support at least civil unions to only 31% who are opposed to any sort of legal equality. 72% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and even a 51% majority of Republicans support either gay marriage or civil unions in Texas.
When it comes to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, only 14% of Texans think that should be an allowable practice compared to 75% who believe it should not. Even among Republicans just 21% believe that's acceptable to 62% who think it is unacceptable.
-Looking towards the 2016 Presidential race, Texas voters are a lot more enthusiastic about Ted Cruz than Rick Perry. 27% of Republicans in the state say Cruz would be their top choice for the nomination to 15% for Jeb Bush, 11% for Rand Paul and Chris Christie, and 9% for Paul Ryan. Perry comes in 6th place at 7%, leading only Marco Rubio at 6%, Rick Santorum at 4%, and Bobby Jindal at 3%. While a plurality of Republican primary voters (42/39) want Cruz to run in 2016, an overwhelming majority (18/69) do not want Perry to.
-It's a sign of how universal the support for expanded background checks for gun purchases is that even in Texas 72% of voters favor it with only 22% opposed. There's strong bipartisan support with majorities of Democrats (89/8), independents (68/30), and Republicans (58/31) all overwhelmingly in favor of them.
-And finally we polled on some lighter topics in Texas. Rangers fans vastly outnumber Astros fans in the state, 44/19. Despite the recent controversy about Paula Deen she's actually the most popular person we asked about in our entire poll with a +25 net favorability rating- 46% of voters see her positively to 21% with a negative opinion. 78% of voters in the state think that you should not mess with Texas, to only 9% that think you should. And regardless of what the New Yorker may think, just 8% of Texans think Bert and Ernie are gay, while 41% believe they are not.
Full results here