dewhurst Major Turn In Texas Senate Race Has Cruz Over Dewhurst

U.S. Senate Candidates Ted Cruz, left, and Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shake hands before their televised debate in Dallas, Texas, Friday, June 22, 2012. Cruz and Dewhurst are locked in a runnoff fight for the Republican nomination to fill Texas’ open U.S. Senate seat. ( AP Photo/Pool/LM Otero)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time, an independent poll shows tea party favorite Ted Cruz has taken the lead over Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas.

With fewer than three weeks away from the July 31 runoff election, a poll by Public Policy Polling shows Cruz with a 49-44 percent edge.

Until now, Dewhurst has led the polls.

He came out ten points ahead of Cruz in the Republican primary May 29th, but didn’t earn more than the 50 percent required, which forced the runoff.

Another poll by Wenzer Strategies and conducted for a group supporting Cruz shows he has a bigger lead: 48 to 38 percent over Dewhurst.

The Cruz campaign issued a statement:

“These polls confirm that despite Ted’s being bombarded with relentless false attacks, the people are rallying behind him because they know that he will fight to reduce the size of government and defend the Constitution.  Ted  understands that establishment politicians from both parties got our country into this mess, and the time has come for serious leadership to stop the spending and repeal the Obama agenda.”

The Dewhurst campaign has declined comment.

Political analyst John Weekley predicts a low voter turnout, and says Cruz could win because his supporters may be more loyal than Dewhurst’s.