Quinnipiac University issued a news release on October 29 stating that, according to its poll released that day, Republican incumbent Senator Ted Cruz continues to hold a five-percent (51-46) likely voter lead over Representative Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger in the Texas Senate race. While Cruz’s lead is down slightly from his 54-45 lead in Quinnipiac’s October 11 survey, only two percent of Texas likely voters remain undecided and only two percent of them who name a U.S. Senate candidate say they might change their mind in the next eight days.
Furthermore, since Texas has early voting, many Texans have already cast their votes, as this writer did on October 23.
A CNN poll of 716 likely Texas voters, conducted by SSRS last week, put Cruz ahead by 52 percent to O’Rourke’s 45 percent.
“With a week to go, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz remains in front, with a slim lead over U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke is within striking distance, but time is running out in a race that Democrats have hoped would deliver an upset victory that would be key to a Senate takeover,” the release quoted Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll.
Brown continued: “Sen. Cruz is ahead due to his winning the ‘gender gap.’ He wins men 56-39 percent, while Representative O’Rourke can manage only a 52-45 percent edge among women.”
The Texas Tribune reported on October 29 that nearly all polling of the Senate race in Texas shows Cruz leading. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released last week found a similar margin of six points.
A report in the Dallas News on October 29 noted that Cruz pollster Chris Wilson was skeptical about the results and questioned the methodology used for selecting respondents. Wilson said that Quinnipiac calls voters randomly rather than working from lists of active voters.
The most likely reason that O’Rourke — who was virtually unknown outside of El Paso before he entered the race — has been able to wage such a competitive campaign is the tremendous amount of money he has spent.
At last count, noted the Dallas News, his campaign had raised more than $70 million, the most of any Senate candidate in U.S. history, surpassing what would normally be considered to be an impressive $30 million war chest raised by Cruz.
Warren Mass writes from Cleburne, Texas.