Senator and Republican incumbent Ted Cruz is leading his Democrat opponent U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the race for Texas Senate, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday.
In April, results from the same independent polling center had Cruz leading by only 3 points — 47 percent to 44 percent.
The polling center called these results “too close to call.”
“Democrats have had a target on Sen. Ted Cruz’s back, and they may be hitting the mark. Once expected to ‘cruise’ to reelection, the incumbent is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a statement.
Now, almost exactly one month later, the poll results show Cruz leading by 11 points — 50 percent to 39 percent.
The poll found Cruz’s biggest boost from men, with a lead of 57-35 percent, up from 51-40 percent in April.
The Texas senator is also leading among women voters, at 44 percent to 42 percent, up from last month when O’Rourke led 47 to 43 percent.
The poll found Cruz to be universally known within the state, with 49 of Texans polled viewing Cruz positively, and 38 percent viewing him unfavorably.
“O’Rourke, on the other hand, is still relatively unknown,” Texas Tribune reported. “Thirty percent of those surveyed had a positive view of him, while 19 percent had a negative impression of him. Fifty percent of those polled did not know who he was.”
Brown noted that as support for President Donald Trump has increased, so has support for Cruz.
“Sen. Ted Cruz, apparently benefiting from a nationwide Republican mini-move, has taken a solid lead in his reelection race,” Brown said Wednesday.
“President Donald Trump’s Texas numbers also have climbed during those six weeks moving from a nine point deficit on job approval to an even split today. It is hard not to see a pro-Cruz effect there.”
“Finally, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s lead among independent voters has shrunk,” Brown added. “Sen. Cruz has improved his standing among some key groups, including independent voters, Hispanic voters and men.”
As noted by National Review, Cruz’s lead among Hispanics “is a troubling sign for O’Rourke, who has tailored his campaign around his advocacy for racial minorities.”
O’Rourke has led an aggressive fundraising campaign, raising $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2018.
“Most of the new money has … come from outside Texas, from national ‘Resistance’ groups who have made Ted Cruz their top target in the 2018 midterm elections,” The Daily Wire reported.
“O’Rourke also favors stricter gun control laws, and more permissive laws on abortion — two issues where even Democratic-leaning Texans side with Republicans.”
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