Why the close Cruz-O'Rourke poll should make the GOP nervous

The perennial speculation about whether Texas could turn blue flared up with fresh legitimacy on Wednesday after ...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 9:02 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 9:02 PM

The perennial speculation about whether Texas could turn blue flared up with fresh legitimacy on Wednesday after a new poll from Quinnipiac University indicated incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz could have a tight race on his hands.

The survey showed Cruz earning the support of 47% of registered voters vs. 44% supporting his opponent, Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke. That topline alone is bad news for the former 2016 presidential hopeful in Texas, where Democrats haven't won any statewide race in a quarter century.

But before Democrats start popping the champagne, the poll lays out some contours of the race that will shape the Lone Star State battle in the months to come. Here's the good news (and the bad) for Cruz and O'Rourke in the Quinnipiac survey.

Good news for Cruz: This poll result came among all registered voters, a traditionally more Democratic-leaning group than likely voters are. But it's possible Democratic enthusiasm could make up some or all of that difference.

Bad news for Cruz: Incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is ahead by 7 and 9 points in the same poll over his own Democratic opponents, dwarfing Cruz's lead with a margin similar to Donald Trump's in Texas in 2016. So -- this might just be Cruz's problem.

Good news for O'Rourke: Cruz is down 14 points among independents, a group Trump won by the same margin in 2016, according to exit polls. Plus, 59% of independents disapprove of Cruz's job performance and 57% say he doesn't share their values.

Bad news for O'Rourke: O'Rourke holds only a 4-point lead among women, similar to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's 2-point win among women on her way to a statewide loss. He'll likely need to grow that to double digits to win in November.

Good news for Cruz: O'Rourke has a lot of name-recognition work to do. A majority of Texas voters -- 53% -- hasn't heard enough about O'Rourke to share an opinion of him.

Bad news for Cruz: 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.

Good news for O'Rourke: Trump's approval rating is underwater: 43% approve and 52% disapprove. Plus, by 3-to-1, independents say their vote is more to oppose Trump than to support him.

Bad news for O'Rourke: People think Cruz would do a better job than O'Rourke on the economy, taxes, immigration and gun policy. They're even virtually tied on health care, a key issue where Democrats have a wide advantage nationally.

Good news for Cruz: Cruz still has his head above water on key personal qualities like honesty, leadership skills and caring about average Texans.

Bad news for Cruz: The groups with the highest share of undecided voters are Hispanics and people under 35 years old, key Democratic groups who will likely come home.

This Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 12-17 among 1,029 registered voters in Texas. The margin of sampling error is -3.6 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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