A new poll from the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune shows current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick are pulling away from Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.
The new numbers show Dewhurst at 37 percent of the vote and Patrick close behind with 31 percent.
"We are seeing this shaping up to be another establishment incumbent versus tea party insurgent race," said professor Jim Henson, who heads up UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project.
Dewhurst and Patrick lead Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples by almost twice the number of votes. So far, Patrick has spent more on television ads in Texas’ largest cities than his opponents during early voting.
"I think to some degree Patrick’s media efforts are paying off as are his other organizing efforts," Henson said.
Henson said Dewhurst may have not spent big on advertising thus far, but there is more to come.
"And some of the things we’ve seen is that the Dewhurst campaign is sitting on some money and waiting to respond," Henson said.
Henson said that likely will come as a surge of ads in the final week of voting or during a possible runoff between Dewhurst and Patrick in May. Henson said their poll was taken before Patterson announced information that Patrick knowingly employed immigrants who were in the country illegally in the 1980s.