Can Republican Bonilla Hang On in TX 23 Runoff? On the eve of the 12/12/06 runoff election in Texas's 23rd Congressional District, incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla appears to edge Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, 51% to 47%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WOAI-TV San Antonio. Since an identical SurveyUSA WOAI-TV poll 1 week ago, on 12/4/06, Bonilla has lost 2 points and Rodriguez has gained 1 point. Among men, Bonilla leads by 10 points, unchanged from last week. Rodriguez's gains have come from women, who picked Bonilla by 3 points last week but now pick Rodriguez by 3 points.
Bonilla gets 67% of White votes. Rodriguez gets 68% of Hispanic votes. In the turnout model used by SurveyUSA for this poll, 53% of likely runoff voters are White, 39% are Hispanic. Bonilla gets 90% of Republican votes. Rodriguez gets 87% of Democratic votes. Independents split. Bonilla gets 81% of conservative votes. Rodriguez gets 80% of liberal votes. Rodriguez wins 2:1 among moderates. Bonilla wins by 17 points among higher-income voters, and by 8 points among middle-income voters. Rodriguez wins by 20 points among lower-income voters.
Texas's Congressional map was redrawn after a Supreme Court case in August 2006. Since there was no time for party primaries, there was a special election on November 7th in the affected districts, in which more than one candidate per party could run. In the 23rd Congressional District, Bonilla defeated Rodriguez and several other Democrats, but received only 48% of the vote, triggering the runoff.
Those who voted for other candidates on 11/7/06 now prefer Rodriguez by 4:1. Those who did not vote on 11/7/06, but who now say they are certain to vote, support Rodriguez by 6. Last week they had supported Bonilla by 20, a 26-point swing to Rodriguez.
Bonilla was first elected to Congress in 1992. Rodriguez represented Texas's 28th Congressional District from 1997 to 2005.