The Texas Senate race between incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke has grown extremely close and is within the statistical margin of error, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
“Poll: Beto O’Rourke within 2 points of Cruz in Texas Senate race”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 1, 2018
According to the Texas Lyceum Poll Cruz is leading O’Rourke by just 41-39 percent among likely voters in the November election. Since the survey’s margin of error is 4.7 percentage points, a difference of just two points is considered a “statistical tie” or a “dead heat.”
Observers say that for a Democratic senate candidate to be this close just three months before the election is a major accomplishment since Texas has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in thirty years.
O’Rourke has done a tremendous job of fundraising also. In the most recent reporting quarter he raised an incredible $10.4 million, compared to just $4.1 million for Cruz. His war chest is impressive since he has $5 million more cash on hand than does the incumbent Republican.
Just three weeks ago another poll showed O’Rourke close to Cruz in this senate race which is not only very high profile but has national implications.
Both polls have confirmed that it is O’Rourke’s support among young voters, women and minorities that is keeping the margin so close and gives him a realistic chance to pull off a major upset. Texas supported Donald Trump by a margin of 9 percentage points, and is considered a “red state,” but as voter turnout and demographics change, it is becoming more purple and is trending toward blue.
As we wrote three weeks ago:
“While pulling off an upset in deep-red Texas is still a longshot for the Democrats, the poll numbers are the latest indication that the Lone Star State isn’t completely out of reach for the blue team. Something is catching here.”
“Fueled by millions in small-dollar donations, O’Rourke is outraising Cruz. President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant families detained at the border has given his campaign a jolt of moral clarity. And voters are responding in a way that Texas Democrats say they have not seen before in modern times.”
“At the end of the day, the fact that Democrats are making Republicans nervous in Texas should worry the GOP about their chances elsewhere – even if Beto O’Rourke doesn’t pull off the ultimate upset.”
Other polls have also shown O’Rourke very close to Cruz, so this latest survey is not just a blip but is confirmation that something very special is happening in Texas.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.