Texas Rep. Pete Sessions’ re-election race is looking increasingly competitive, with Democrat Colin Allred polling close to the longtime Republican lawmaker, according to a new internal Democratic survey.
The Dallas-area 32nd District is traditionally GOP territory. But this year’s race is considered competitive, in part because the 32nd is one of three Republican-held districts in the Lone Star State that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up.
Sessions led Allred 47 percent to 45 percent in the initial head-to-head matchup, according to the polling memo shared first with Roll Call.
The poll, conducted by GBA Strategies, also showed both Sessions and President Donald Trump with low favorable ratings. Forty-one percent of those surveyed viewed Trump favorably while 38 percent had a favorable view of Sessions. Fifty-one percent had an unfavorable view of Trump while 42 percent had an unfavorable view of Sessions.
Twenty-seven percent viewed Allred favorably, but only 13 percent viewed him unfavorably, signaling that respondents might not have strong opinions of the Democratic nominee or know much about him.
Allred is a civil rights lawyer and former professional football player, who also worked for the Obama administration. Former President Barack Obamarecently endorsed Allred along with several other congressional candidates. The Democratic poll signaled that the former president is fairly popular in a district he lost by 16 points in 2012. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed had a favorable view of the 44th president.
Allred is among the Democratic challengers replenishing his campaign coffers after a costly primary race, and Sessions still has a financial edge. The congressman had nearly $1.9 million in cash on hand at the end of the second fundraising quarter on June 30, while Allred had $943,000.
The poll surveyed 500 likely voters from July 30 through Aug. 1, using live telephone interviews with a mix of landline and mobile phones. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 points.
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Correction 10:42 p.m. | An earlier version of this story misstated Colin Allred’s favorability and unfavorability ratings in Texas’ 32nd District.