By Jim EllisJuly 26, 2021 — The Texas 6th District special election to replace the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington) is scheduled for Tuesday, and the Susan Wright campaign has just released the results of their most recent American Viewpoint poll.
According to AV (July 19-21; 400 TX-6 likely runoff voters, live interview), Wright, the late congressman’s widow who placed first in the original May 1 special jungle primary, leads state Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) by a 44-34 percent count with 12 percent saying they are undecided. The sample’s remaining ten percent apparently didn’t answer the ballot test question since they appear unsegmented.
The Wright pollsters argue in their survey synopsis that the ballot test numbers are actually stronger than presented for underlying reasons. Among the voters who rate themselves as most enthusiastic about voting in the special election (a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 having the highest level of enthusiasm), Wright expands her lead to 54-33 percent.
The pollsters reason the most enthusiastic voters, in this case ones who rated themselves at or between 8 to 10 on this scale, are the most likely group to vote. On the negative side, however, this segment is small. Only 8 percent of the entire sampling universe rated themselves in the highest positive category.
Drilling further into the polling sample’s core, American Viewpoint finds that among the respondents who said they are “certain to vote,” Wright leads Ellzey, 51-33 percent.
Where the state representative scores higher in this double-Republican runoff contest is among the Democrats who choose to participate. Here, Ellzey leads 44-31 percent. The pollsters conclude that Democrats who are motivated to vote largely want to make a statement in supporting the candidate that former President Donald Trump did not endorse…in the 6th District race, Ellzey.
Among what the pollsters describe as the “Trump Movement Republicans,” presumably those who have a positive impression of the former president and generally are inclined to back his endorsement choice, favors Wright by a 61-28 percent spread.
Rep. Ellzey first ran for office in 2018, when he opposed Wright in the 6th District open seat regular congressional election. Underestimated in the primary election, Ellzey finished second and forced Wright, then the Tarrant County Assessor, into a runoff. With Wright favored, Ellzey reduced the former man’s margin of victory to 52-48%, again exceeding expectations.
Ellzey then ran for the state House of Representatives in the regular 2020 elections, and this time prevailed in a race again in which he was not favored. Therefore, Ellzey has developed a pattern of exceeding political expectations, so seeing an upset scenario develop in this race cannot be discounted.
Fundraising is another area where Ellzey has the advantage. For the campaign, according to the candidates’ pre-primary filing with the Federal Election Commission, which covered through the period ending July 7, Ellzey had raised $1.736 million as compared to Wright’s financial total of just over $740,000.
Wright has the advantage of the Club for Growth running an independent expenditure on her behalf, for a current total of $538,000, which substantially closes her financial disadvantage. Ellzey’s total support increases because the House Freedom Action organization has expended $62,847 in digital ads on his behalf.
Wright has more of the seemingly key endorsements, but not all. Aside from former President Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have announced public support for her. So did Texas US House delegation members Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth), Troy Nehls (R-Richmond), and Chip Roy (R-Austin), in addition to House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and outgoing Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price. The State Republican Executive Committee is also officially supporting Ms. Wright.
Former Gov. Rick Perry leads those backing Ellzey. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston), Waxahachie Mayor David Hill, the Texas Farm Bureau, the War Veterans Fund, various local officials, and the Dallas Morning News have also lined up behind the first-term GOP state legislator.
Republicans win the seat either way on July 27th, and while the polling data suggests a Susan Wright advantage, Jake Ellzey, consistently under-estimated, also has substantial support that makes this contest a race in its closing days.