Poll: Cruz Holds Comfortable Lead Against O’Rourke

Cruz saw a surge in support among white men since last poll

Sen. Ted Cruz  enjoys a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas' Senate race, a new poll shows. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Ted Cruz  enjoys a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas' Senate race, a new poll shows. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:33am

A new poll shows a big shift in Texas’ Senate race, with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz building a comfortable lead over Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke over the last month.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac, found Cruz was leading O’Rourke with the support of 50 percent of those responding, compared to the Democrat’s 39 percent.

This was an improvement from a Quinnipiac poll released April 18 which showed Cruz and O’Rourke engaged in a tight race, with the incumbent then holding only a 3-point lead.

Cruz’s numbers improved with men, who now support Cruz with 57 percent of the vote versus O’Rourke’s 35 percent. In April, Cruz had only 51 percent of their support.

Cruz also has the support of 46 percent of Hispanics compared to O’Rourke’s 44 percent.

O’Rourke also saw his fortunes flip with women, with 44 percent now supporting Cruz and 42 percent supporting O’Rourke. In April, O’Rourke had 47 percent of women’s support.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director for the Quinnipiac poll, attributed Cruz’s improved numbers to a general “mini-move” among Republicans.

“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,” Brown said in a statement. “It is hard not to see a pro- Cruz effect there.”

The poll shows that Trump’s approval and disapproval are split at 47 percent each. That is an improvement from when Trump’s disapproval was 52 percent in April.

Given his opponent’s polarizing persona, O’Rourke’s Senate campaign has benefitted from much media coverage, and he has outraised the incumbent early in the election cycle.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

Quinnipiac surveyed 961 voters in Texas through live interviews on both cellphones and land lines. The margin of error was 3.8 percentage points.