It’s anybody’s game in the upcoming special election in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District, according to a Washington Free Beacon poll of registered voters in the suburban Dallas district.
While Susan Wright, the widow of Rep. Ron Wright (R., Texas), has been considered the frontrunner on the GOP side, three Republicans are polling in double digits and all within the poll’s margin of error. Wright leads with 17 percent, followed by Navy veteran Jake Ellzey with 16 percent, and the former Trump administration official Brian Harrison with 12 percent.
"It’s very competitive on the Republican side," said GOP strategist David Carney. "Wright benefits from name recognition but others have been able to cut away at that."
It’s a crowded field: Twenty-three candidates will face off in the May 1 race to fill the seat vacated by Ron Wright, who succumbed in February to the coronavirus. The top two vote getters—likely a Democrat and a Republican—will advance to a runoff if nobody eclipses 50 percent of the vote.
While the Republican vote is split evenly among the three top candidates, Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez is the only Democrat with double-digit support at 20 percent.
The Club for Growth has jumped into the race to oppose Ellzey, including with mailers attacking him as a NeverTrumper and noting that Ellzey received a $250 donation in 2018 from the father-in-law of Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti. The Club for Growth spent millions attacking Trump in 2016 before closing ranks with the eventual nominee.
Republicans are favored to win the seat. While Trump won a narrow 3-point victory in November, other Republicans fared better: Ron Wright won by 9 points in 2020 and by 8 points in 2018. The poll suggests Sanchez, if she advances to the runoff, will face an uphill battle to flip the district.
The poll, conducted by Meeting Street Insights from April 11-13, surveyed 400 registered voters in the district. The full results can be viewed here.
CORRECTION April 6, 2020: This piece has been updated to reflect the fact that the Club for Growth is opposing Ellzey, not supporting Wright, as originally stated. We regret the error.