The fierce battle for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas is still too close to call, a new poll shows.
Just three months away from the Nov. 6 midterm elections, a new poll shows that Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso are essentially in a dead heat.
Cruz holds a slim lead of 41 percent over O’Rourke’s 39 percent, which technically is within the margin of error, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Texas Lyceum.
“O’Rourke continues to nip at Cruz’s heels, but it’s a long way to go until Election Day,” said Josh Blank, Lyceum Poll research director. “If this race looks different than the rest, that’s probably because ... a strong Democratic challenger (is) raising prolific sums of money and tons of earned media.”
Republicans hold strong leads in other statewide races, according to this poll.
▪ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has a 16-point lead over Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez, 47-31 percent.
▪ Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is up over Democratic challenger Mike Collier, 39-29 percent.
▪ And Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is up over Democratic challenger Justin Nelson, 35-25 percent.
Battle for Senate
Cruz, a past and probably future presidential candidate whose Tea Party strongholds include Dallas-Fort Worth, is in his first Senate re-election bid.
After besting the popular and well-financed then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a 2012 primary runoff, by claiming 151,686 more votes, he went on to handily win the general election and make headlines while serving in the U.S. Senate.
O’Rourke, who has traveled around the state since last year working to meet voters, has raised millions to support his campaign, and some believe he has a chance at beating Cruz in this reliably red state come November.
This is the nation’s most expensive Senate race, so far.
O’Rourke, who isn’t accepting any PAC money in this race, outraised Cruz in donations much of this year — an unexpected development. In the second quarter of fundraising this year, O’Rourke raised $10.4 million. Cruz raised $4 million, records show.
Both candidates have said Tarrant County is crucial in the November election, because the state will go the way the county goes.
The poll, which reached out to Texas adults between July 9-26, was conducted in English and Spanish. The overall margin of error for the poll is 2.86 percentage points. For registered voters, the margin of error is 3.45 percentage points.