CNN poll: Cruz leads O'Rourke with three weeks to go

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz appears well-positioned for re-election over his Democratic challenger Rep. B...

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 8:01 AM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 8:01 AM

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz appears well-positioned for re-election over his Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke, topping him 52% to 45% among likely voters, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds.

Just 9% of likely Texas voters say there's a chance they could change their mind about the Senate contest before Election Day, although O'Rourke's voters are more apt to be locked in to their choice (92% say their minds are made up) than are Cruz's backers (87% say they've made a final decision).

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The two candidates are set to debate Tuesday night, and O'Rourke will participate in a CNN town hall later this week. O'Rourke's challenge has drawn tens of millions in donations, forcing Republicans to play defense in one of the few Republican Senate seats in play this election cycle. President Donald Trump even plans to host a rally for his former rival's benefit.

The President could be an asset among those planning to vote in Texas. Trump's approval rating is net negative statewide, with 50% of adults disapproving of his handling of the presidency vs. 41% who approve. Among likely voters, however, 49% approve of Trump's job performance and 48% disapprove.

The gender gap in this race is tighter than what CNN has measured in nationwide polling on the House generic ballot and in other Senate contests. In four other critical battlegrounds, the gender gap has been 30 points or higher in three states, and stood at 21 in the fourth. In this contest, it's a narrower 18 points. O'Rourke holds just a 2-point edge among women, the smallest for a Democrat among women in the states CNN has polled so far. The next closest is Jacky Rosen's 14-point lead among women in Nevada earlier this month in her race against Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

In Texas, the race gap appears more meaningful than the gender gap. Latino voters break sharply in O'Rourke's favor, 62% to 35%, while white voters favor Cruz by a 2-to-1 margin, 66% to 33%.

Likely voters in Texas place immigration at the top of their issue list: 26% call it the most important issue in deciding their vote, while 23% call the economy their top priority. Cruz leads among both sets of voters. O'Rourke has a wide edge among the 19% of voters who call health care their top issue. Eleven percent say their top issue is national security, 8% gun policy and 5% the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Both Senate candidates hold net-positive favorability ratings with voters in Texas generally, and that holds among those most likely to vote. Cruz is viewed positively by 51% of Texas voters, 41% have an unfavorable view, and O'Rourke is seen favorably by 45%, with 36% holding a negative opinion. Cruz fares better among his own partisans (92% favorable among Texas Republicans) than O'Rourke does with Democrats in the state (81% favorable among Democrats).

The poll also finds Texas Gov. Greg Abbott standing well ahead of his Democratic challenger in the poll -- 57% of likely voters support Abbott with 39% for Lupe Valdez.

The CNN poll in Texas was conducted by SSRS October 9 through 13 among random statewide samples reached on landlines or cell phones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample of 1,004 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. For the subset of 862 registered voters, it is plus or minus 4.1, and for the 716 likely voters, plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15523

Reported Deaths: 734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17952

Reported Deaths: 630
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
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