The movement to draft Tommy Lee Jones to run as a Democrat to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison is most likely doomed to failure, but a new poll shows Jones might be a viable candidate.
Public Policy Polling released its survey today on the 2012 Senate race, and it shows Jones with the best favorable/unfavorable combo among possible candidates. It also shows he is within range of two Republican candidates, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, in head-to-head matchups.
Dewhurst beats him 43-39 percent, and Leppert by only 38-37.
"A Jones candidacy is probably a pipe dream for Democrats but the numbers do suggest he would have the potential to be a strong nominee." PPP director Tom Jensen says.
Sure, most of it is a name-recognition thing, but let's get this party started.
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He says Jones
actually has a better favorability rating, at 28/14, than any of the candidates more likely to make the race. He has the sort of bipartisan appeal a Democrat would need to win statewide in Texas, with Republicans giving him a 25/12 favorability spread and independents a particularly good 35/12 one. He polls the best of any Democrat not just against Dewhurst but also against GOP hopefuls Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert.
Overall, PPP found that most of the 2012 candidates don't have great name recognition at this point (State Senator Dan Patrick, contemplating a bid, was not included in the questions.)
"David Dewhurst is the strongest candidate at this point," Jensen says. "He's the only one with greater than 50 percent name recognition and he leads all the Democrats we tested."