Cruz Leads O’Rourke By Just 3.1% In Most Recent Poll
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke are within three percentage points of each other, according to a new poll, which was conducted by Emerson College between October 28-30, and surveyed 781 registered voters.
The poll asked the following question: “If the election for Senate were held today, for whom would you vote or lean towards voting among the following candidates?”
Among those surveyed, 50.3% said they would vote for or lean toward Ted Cruz, while 47.2% said they would vote for or lean toward Beto O’Rourke. 1.5% were “undecided,” and 1% preferred Libertarian Party candidate Neal Dikeman.
Although this gives Cruz a 3.1% advantage, it falls well within the poll’s margin or error, which stands at +/-3.7%.
According to RealClearPolitics, which averages the most recent polling, Cruz has a lead of 6.5% over O’Rourke. FiveThirtyEight, which uses a different methodology when weighing various polls, places Cruz 5% ahead of O’Rourke, and gives him a “4 in 5” chance of winning the election.
The Emerson poll also asked respondents to offer their approval of President Trump. While 48.8% rated the president favorably, 46% rated him unfavorably. 4.8% had a “neutral” opinion or none at all.
While Senator Cruz has enjoyed a lead since polling for this race began, the consistency of his advantage has varied dramatically from survey to survey, from lows of just one or two percent to highs of ten and eleven percent.
It’s impossible to know if the debates between Cruz and O’Rourke, which took place on September 21 and October 16, had any real impact on the race. However, looking at the polling data, it seems possible that Cruz’s performance in the first debate gave him a slight boost.
In the weeks following the first debate, Cruz’s lead increased by 2.5%, moving from an average of 4.5% to 7%, according to RealClearPolitics polling data. In the four polls conducted since the second debate, Cruz’s lead has dropped by approximately one point to 6%.
In a more recent poll, conducted by progressive organization Change Research between November 1-2, surveying 1,211 people, Cruz and O’Rourke are dead even, each sitting at 49%.
While RealClearPolitics doesn’t include this poll in their roster, FiveThirtyEight does. However, they make several adjustments when calculating the weight of polls, one of which is called “house effect,” which is based on the polling firm’s potential political leanings.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Change Research Poll, once adjusted, gives Cruz a 1.4% lead.
As the midterms quickly approach, the winds seem to favor Ted Cruz, who is facing his very first Senate re-election campaign. Cruz won his first Senate campaign in 2012 against Democratic candidate Paul Sadler with 56.5%. He went on to run for president in 2016, and was one of the last men standing for the Republican nomination before bowing out of the race on May 3, 2016 after it became apparent that he would not be able to defeat Donald Trump.
If Cruz wins on Tuesday, he won’t face re-election until 2024.