Cruz leads O'Rourke by 7 pts in new CNN poll

A new CNN poll shows Sen. Ted Cruz leading Rep. Beto O'Rourke by 7 points in Texas, despite O'Rourke's record-breaking fundraising. The Lead panel discusses.

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 9:25 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 9:25 AM

Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke aggressively cast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as "all talk and no action" during the second -- and potentially final -- debate of the Texas Senate race Tuesday night.

The hour-long debate showcased a major shift in tone for O'Rourke, who rarely says the names of Cruz or President Donald Trump on the campaign trail and has often bypassed his opportunities to take direct shots at Cruz.

The change in approach could be necessary for O'Rourke. A new CNN poll out Tuesday showed Cruz with a 7 percentage point lead -- consistent with other recent surveys that have shown the Republican clearly ahead. O'Rourke had $22.9 million in the bank at the close of the third quarter of 2018, giving him enough money to advertise across the state in the race's final three weeks.

Minutes into the debate, as Cruz accused O'Rourke of supporting a $10-a-barrel tax on oil, the El Paso congressman shot back that Cruz is "dishonest."

"It's why the President called him 'Lying Ted,' and it's why the nickname stuck -- because it's true," he said.

The vote in question was a 2016 House GOP resolution that rejected the idea of a new oil tax. O'Rourke and most Democrats opposed the measure.

"Congressman O'Rourke sides with liberal extremists on the national level, instead of the people of Texas -- instead of jobs in Texas," Cruz said.

O'Rourke continued his more combative approach through the debate. He highlighted Cruz's 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, saying Cruz hasn't visited all of the 254 counties in Texas, "but has been to all 99 in Iowa."

"Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz," he said.

The debate showcased differences over social media regulation to combat foreign interference in election -- O'Rourke said he was open to it; Cruz was opposed -- and a stark split on the Supreme Court and the potential for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

In a line that underscored Democratic worries that O'Rourke hasn't won over enough Latino voters, Cruz said: "The people of Texas, and I will say, especially the Hispanic community, we don't want to see taxpayer-funded, Medicaid-funded abortions."

A question over trade led to a battle about party control in Congress.

Cruz claimed that O'Rourke is the only Senate Democratic candidate this cycle who has explicitly supported Trump's impeachment.

He said that O'Rourke's election would lead to "two years of a partisan circus, shutting down the federal government in a witch hunt on the President."

"It's really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the US Senate," O'Rourke fired back. "If you have this special relationship with President Trump, then where is the result of that? You are all talk and no action."

"I'm against tariffs. I'm against the trade war," Cruz said. "If we're erecting barriers and shutting down trade, that is a bad thing. This is one of the few issues where Congressman O'Rourke and I have some common ground."

The difference, Cruz said, is that he has a relationship with Trump and can advocate for expanded trade. He praised Trump for negotiating a "new NAFTA, a new trade deal," with benefits for Texas.

O'Rourke criticized Trump for alienating trade partners like Canada and Mexico, and said his trade war is "hurting no state more than it's hurting Texas."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30674

Reported Deaths: 1107
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds248039
DeSoto157216
Madison129634
Jones112049
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Harrison88610
Forrest86042
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Lee54718
Wayne54213
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Lowndes48312
Grenada4795
Lamar4567
Lincoln45434
Pike43112
Monroe39930
Lafayette3894
Sunflower3737
Attala35923
Covington3475
Panola3456
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Adams31018
Simpson3103
Pontotoc2836
Tate27810
Chickasaw27618
Marion27511
Claiborne27010
Jasper2616
Noxubee2618
Winston2596
Pearl River25432
Clay24910
Marshall2263
Smith22011
Union2079
Clarke20624
Walthall2004
Coahoma1996
Kemper17814
Lawrence1741
Yalobusha1717
Carroll16411
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1312
Tippah13011
Calhoun1294
Hancock12613
Webster12510
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite892
George863
Tishomingo781
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn682
Perry664
Stone641
Franklin452
Sharkey350
Benton340
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
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