Texas Poll: Republican Ted Cruz, Democrat Beto O’Rourke Locked in ‘Too Close to Call’ Senate Race

Cruz vs Beto O'Rourke

A new Quinnipiac Poll released on Wednesday says a general election matchup in November that gives Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 47 percent of the vote and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) 44 percent of the vote is “too close to call” because the results fall within the survey’s 3.6 percent margin of error.

“There are wide party, gender, age and racial gaps, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds,” the pollsters said in the description of the first major poll of a potential Cruz-O’Rourke matchup in the 2018 midterm election, adding:

  • O’Rourke gets 87 – 9 percent support from Democrats and 51 – 37 percent backing from independent voters, as Republicans go to Cruz 88 – 6 percent;
  • Men back Cruz 51 – 40 percent, while women go 47 percent for O’Rourke and 43 percent for Cruz;
  • Voters 18 to 34 years old go Democratic 50 – 34 percent, while voters over 65 years old go Republican 50 – 43 percent;
  • White voters back Cruz 59 – 34 percent, as O’Rourke leads 78 – 18 percent among black voters and 51 – 33 percent among Hispanic voters.

“Democrats have had a target on Sen. Ted Cruz’s back, and they may be hitting the mark. Once expected to ‘cruise’ to reelection, the incumbent is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll said in a statement accompanying the release of the poll.

In the race for governor, the poll found incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, in the lead:

In the Texas governor’s race, Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott tops former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez 49 – 40 percent and leads entrepreneur Andrew White 48 – 41 percent.

Voters approve 54 – 33 percent of the job Gov. Abbott is doing and give him a 51 – 33 percent favorability. His challengers are largely unknown as 65 percent don’t know enough about Valdez to form an opinion of her and 72 percent don’t know enough about White.

“Gov. Greg Abbott has a modest lead over each of the two people vying for the Democratic nomination. But what is significant is that governors with 54 percent job approval ratings rarely lose,” according to Quinnipiac’s Brown.

The poll, which was conducted over a six day period between April 12 and 17, comes with a number of caveats, however.

“Responses are reported for 1,029 self-identified registered voters with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.6 percentage points,” Quinnipiac said in its description of the poll’s methodology, meaning the data represents opinions of self-identified registered voters as opposed to likely voters who came from lists of registered voters.

Quinnipiac also noted that “Surveys are conducted in English or Spanish dependent on respondent preference with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones.”

The sample was Republican +7, with 31 percent self-identified Republicans, 24 percent self-identified Democrats, 36 percent self-identified Independents, and 10 percent self-identified Other.