The perennial speculation about whether deep red Texas could turn blue flared up with fresh legitimacy on Wednesday after a new Quinnipiac University poll indicated incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz could be in for a major surprise comes November.
The survey showed Cruz leading O’Rourke by only 3 percentage points — 47 to 44 percent — which falls within the margin of error, meaning the race is “too close to call.”
The candidates are neck and neck within their respective parties. According to the poll, 88% of Democrats support O’Rourke’s bid to replace Cruz, while 88% of Republicans support keeping Cruz in charge.
According to the poll, 46% of Texas voters view Cruz favorably, while 44% see him unfavorably. On the other hand, 30% of voters view O’Rourke favorably, but only 16% view him unfavorably. 53% of poll takers said they don’t know him enough to form an opinion.
Texans like what they see of O’Rourke so far. His favorable numbers with Democrats are a staggering 54% favorable to 2% unfavorable. Independents like him as a person by 3-to-1. Even Republicans are evenly split on that question.
If O’Rourke can reach those who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion to lean his way, this race could very well go to the Democrats, and that is worrying Ted Cruz and the GOP.
The new Quinnipiac poll, conducted April 12–17, surveyed 1,029 Texas voters and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.