Sen. Ted Cruz may be headed for a Texas showdown this November.
The Lone Star State Republican is locked in a statistical dead heat with Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday. The poll found Cruz leading O’Rourke 47 to 44 percent, within the poll's 3.6 percent margin of error.
Democrats have been hopeful that Texas’ changing demographics will soon give them a shot at winning a Senate seat in the traditionally red state. And Cruz, a firebrand conservative and 2016 presidential hopeful, is a top target.
The poll found O’Rouke leading among independent (51-37%), Hispanic (51-33%), and black (78-18%) voters. Cruz leads among male (51-40%) and white (59-34%) voters, as well as those over the age of 65 (50-43%).
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they approve of the job Cruz is doing, compared to 46 percent who disapprove, and his favorability rating remains slightly above water, 46 to 44 percent.
O’Rourke enjoys a favorability rating of 30 percent, compared to just 16 percent of respondents who said they disapprove. A majority of Texas voters (53%), however, don’t know enough about the Democratic congressman to form an opinion of him.
“The key may well be independent voters. O'Rourke's 51 to 37 percent lead among that group is key to his standing today,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a statement announcing the results. “But Texas remains a strong GOP state so O'Rourke will need the independent strength to pull the upset.”
You can read the full survey of 1,029 Texas voters, conducted April 12 to 17, here.