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Republicans Surge in Poll Despite Democrat Bankrolling, Celebrity Endorsements

Combo photo of Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn
Getty/AP

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) surged in a poll released on Friday despite Democrats bankrolling Beto O’Rourke and Taylor Swift backing Phil Bredesen.

Cruz continues to fight despite a contentious campaign amidst Democrats pouring in tremendous resources to help Democrat challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke flip the traditionally Republican-held Senate seat to a blue one.

The New York Times reported that incumbent Republican Cruz has 51 percent of Texans supporting him, while O’Rourke only has 43 percent support, making Cruz’s lead far ahead of the 3.6 percent margin of error.

The survey also found that Cruz has a 51 percent favorability rating, compared to 42 percent of Texans who do not support the senator.

In contrast, O’Rourke has a three percent net negative favorability rating, with 41 percent of voters having a positive view of the Democrat congressman and 44 percent of Texans who do not have a favorable opinion of the Democrat.

O’Rourke reportedly raised a record $38.1 million in the third quarter as a last-minute effort to turn the tide in his favor.

Other October Texas Senate race polls have had Cruz holding a six-point lead or a five-point lead over Rep. O’Rourke.

In another pivotal Senate race, Congresswoman Blackburn has a 14-point lead over former Tennessee Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Blackburn has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2002, previously served in the Tennessee State House, and hopes to replace the retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). The Times poll found that Blackburn has a 51 percent favorability rating, while 38 percent of voters have a negative opinion of the Tennesse representative.

In contrast, Bredesen had a 44 percent favorability rating and a 43 percent unfavorable rating.

Blackburn continues to lead in the polls despite pop superstar Taylor Swift urging voters to oppose her in the Tennessee Senate race.

Swift, who used to remain silent on politics, blasted the congresswoman, inferring that she has anti-gay, anti-women, anti-people of color beliefs.

“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” she said, adding:

She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.

President Donald Trump blasted Swift, saying that Blackburn is a “tremendous woman.”

“I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing or doesn’t know anything about her,” Trump added.

Blackburn, meanwhile, defended her record in the U.S. House, saying she has backed President Trump’s America First record. Rep. Blackburn noted that the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Chamber of Commerce have all endorsed her. Blackburn also said she has and will continue to support women.

“Of course I support women and I want violence to end against women,” she said. “I’ve been very active in abuse shelters and child advocacy centers. I’ve been advocating for women in equal pay since I was 19 years old.”

Other polls in October have found that Blackburn leads Bredesen by a fair margin. A YouGov poll had Blackburn leading by eight points, while a Fox News poll had Blackburn leading by five.

Tennessee and Texas represent two states that Democrats hope to flip from Republican to Democrat amidst many other states, such as West Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota, which most pundits consider potential pickups for Republicans.

Cruz and Blackburn’s surge comes amidst skyrocketing voter enthusiasm amongst Republicans.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released recently found that Republicans have nearly matched Democrat interest in the midterm election.

The poll said that 65 percent of Democrats are “very interested” in the midterm election, compared to 61 percent of Republicans who have also signaled they are “very interested” in the November elections. The poll has a margin of error of 3.27 percent, which would make the poll a near tie in voter enthusiasm.

Glen Bolger, a GOP pollster, said, “Seeing a significant jump in GOP voter interest in the elections this week. The Dem intensity advantage is melting away. Two things: 1. I figure it has to be Kavanaugh effect. 2. Remains to be seen if it lasts. GOP campaigns should not assume their turnout concerns are done.”

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