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Lower Turnout For Senate Runoff May Help Cruz

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AUSTIN (AP) – Turnout was low for the Texas primary, and a July 31 runoff to decide who wins the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate is likely to see it sink even lower.

Both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and tea party darling Ted Cruz claim that’s good news.

But finding out who’s right may ultimately depend on just how low turnout goes.

About 11 percent of registered Republicans cast ballots Tuesday. That meant about 1.4 million people voted in the GOP race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Dewhurst won 43 percent of the vote, 10 points more than Cruz.

Mark Jones of Rice University expects turnout for the runoff to fall to between 750,000 and 1 million ballots cast.

The higher the better for Dewhurst, he says. Lower turnout likely benefits Cruz.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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