New Poll in Texas Special Election Shows Early Leaders, Lots of Vote Up For Grabs

by Jacob Rubashkin March 18, 2021 · 1:20 PM EDT

With less than two months to go, nearly half of voters have not chosen a candidate in the upcoming special election in Texas’ 6th District, according to new polling obtained by Inside Elections.

The March 9-12 survey by Victoria Research for Jana Lynne Sanchez, a Democrat running for the seat, found Republican Susan Wright, the widow of the late GOP Rep. Ron Wright, leading the field with 21 percent, followed by Sanchez with 17 percent. Republican state Rep. Jake Ellzey garnered 8 percent; Democrats Lydia Bean (a 2020 state House nominee and former professor at Baylor) and Shawn Lassiter (a nonprofit leader and former teacher) took 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Texas conducts special elections via jungle primary, meaning that all candidates — there are 23 of them in this race — will appear together on the ballot. If no candidate wins a majority, then the top two best-performing candidates, regardless of party, advance to a runoff.

The May 1 special election in this suburban Dallas-Fort Worth district was caused by Wright's death last month, and could be the first competitive congressional race of 2021. Former President Donald Trump carried the district by just 3 points, 51-48 percent, last November, down from a 54-42 percent victory in 2016. 

In the survey, Independent Adrian Mizher registered 3 percent; Democrat Patrick Moses, a Fort Worth-based Baptist pastor, took 2 percent; and Republican Sery Kim, a former official in the Small Business Administration during Trump’s presidency, took 1 percent. 

Three percent of voters said they would support “someone else” and 39 percent said they were undecided.

Only eight of the 23 candidates were included in the survey. While all three top Democratic candidates were listed as options, two Republican candidates who have received national attention — former senior Trump administration official Brian Harrison and retired WWE wrestler/2020 GOP nominee for Nevada’s 3rd District Dan Rodimer — were not.

The Sanchez campaign left out Harrison and Rodimer for space reasons, a Democratic strategist familiar with the poll said, adding that the campaign was more concerned with the distribution of Democratic votes than the specific breakdown among Republican candidates.

The poll surveyed 450 likely voters in the 6th District using a mix of live telephone and online interviews. The margin of error is 4.6 percent.

Inside Elections subscribers will be able to read a deep dive into the 6th District special election in Friday’s issue.