Cruz Leads in Texas, New Poll Finds; 155 Delegates Up for Grabs next Tuesday

February 23, 2016

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has an 8 point lead over overall Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, according to a new poll from the Texas Tribune. Cruz has 37%, Trump has 29% and Marco Rubio is at 15%. The two were tied in November, when the last Tribune poll was conducted.

The Texas Primary is on March 1; its 155 delegates represent the largest single prize on Super Tuesday. By comparison, only 133 delegates will be awarded in all four February Republican contests, including 30 at today's Nevada caucuses

Who will Win the 155 Delegates?

There's a lot of 'if' here, but if next Tuesday's statewide results match today's poll and if the results are the same in each of the state's 36 Congressional Districts, we estimate 99 delegates for Cruz, 56 for Trump. Based on a review of the allocation rules, the winner of each District would get two delegates, the 2nd place finisher gets one, while the 47 remaining delegates would be allocated proportionately between Cruz and Trump.

Given the diversity in the Texas electorate, it is unlikely that each District would vote the same way, and so the actual distribution of delegates will almost definitely be somewhat different than the above. Additionally, there are some thresholds that come into play. For example, a candidate getting >50% of the vote in any District (or statewide) wins all 3 delegates for that District (or 47 statewide). Likewise, if Rubio can reach 20% of the statewide vote, he'll join the proportional mix for the 47 delegates.

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