Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during his caucus night gathering at the Bill and Lillie Heinrich YMCA on February 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Can Ted Cruz win his home state of Texas?
02:25 - Source: CNN

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Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump by 15 points in Texas, according to a Monmouth University poll released Thursday

CNN  — 

Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump by 15 points in Texas, a new poll shows.

Following a blowout win for Trump in Nevada, speculation that the home state senator could lose the winner-take-all contest had mounted. But Cruz has support from 38% of Texans compared to 23% for Trump, according to the Monmouth University poll released Thursday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio garners 21% support, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 6% and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 5%.

Cruz has had the upper hand in most public polls of Texas, though Trump’s strength there has raised the possibility that Cruz could lose his own turf, a blow that would strike at the core of his southern strategy and raise questions about his path forward.

“Cruz looks to be well-positioned in Texas,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a release accompanying the poll results. “The challenge for him is that a lot of other states are also on the slate for Super Tuesday.”

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is well ahead of Bernie Sanders, leading him 64% to 30%.

The poll surveyed 456 likely Texas Republican voters and 304 likely Texas Democratic voters from February 22-24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for Republicans and plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for Democrats.