If the primaries were to be held today in Texas and not in March, the GOP would have no clear winner in Texas. The latest poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune has junior U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and real estate mogul and entertainer Donald Trump tied for the lead. On the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton would be the clear winner.
Joining me to talk about this and everything else that happened this week is Emily Ramshaw – editor of the Texas Tribune.
A surprising finding of the poll wasn’t who is ahead, but who’s in last. Texans, when asked which GOP candidate they were least likely to vote for, named Jeb Bush.
“It shows you the trouble he is in here in Texas,” Ramshaw says. “Ted Cruz has a commanding position here in Texas, which is exactly where he wants to be.”
Yet Cruz had a slip-up in the fourth GOP debate, televised earlier this week. He said he would shut down five federal agencies, but only named four (leaving out the Department of Education and naming the Department of Commerce twice) – a gaff similar to one Rick Perry had before he dropped out of the race.
“Ted Cruz rarely stumbles on the stump so I think he’s been given a big pass for this,” Ramshaw says.
In Texas news, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said he’s raising fees for a wide range of services after not getting the budget increases he requested. People aren’t happy – some 70 members of the House and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have spoken out against these fee hikes.
“While Sid Miller was in the Texas legislature, he was in the House, he was known as a fiscal hawk, he was all about cutting spending, not increasing funding for anything,” Ramshaw says. “Now that’s he’s an agency head, he’s like ‘Whoops, this stuff is more expensive and we’re more underfunded than we thought.'”