WASHINGTON – GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has a comfortable lead over Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the Texas Senate race, according to a poll released Friday.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found that 51 percent of the respondents said they support Cruz, compared with 45 percent who said they support O’Rourke. Two percent said they support Libertarian Neal Dikeman and two percent said they would vote for another third-party candidate.
Among Hispanic voters, a key voting bloc in the state, O’Rourke led Cruz 60 percent to 33 percent.
The sampling included 927 likely voters and was carried out Oct. 15-21. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.22 percentage points.
Cruz, 47, has served in the Senate since 2013. He is regarded as one of the most conservative members of the upper chamber. Cruz ran for president in 2016 but lost the Republican nomination now-President Donald Trump.
O’Rourke, 46, has served in Congress since 2013 and is regarded as a moderate liberal.
The survey follows two debates in which the candidates accused each other of being outside the political mainstream.
Cruz slammed O’Rourke for being included among a group of seven members of Congress who voted against funding for Israel’s antimissile Iron Dome system.
O’Rourke slammed Cruz for frequently siding with large corporations over the little guy and accused the senator of being more partisan than most of his Republican colleagues.
Texas is reliably Republican.
Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to carry the state in a presidential election. Trump won the state by 9 points in 2016.
Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988.