Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is leading incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz by two points, according to a newly released Ipsos online poll released in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia, according to The Texas Tribune.
O’Rourke has been gaining on Cruz over the last couple months but this is the first poll that has him in the lead.
Forty-seven percent of likely voters reported in the poll they would vote for O’Rourke, while 45 percent were in favor of Cruz. Only 3 percent indicated they would vote for “Other,” and 5 percent told the poll “None.”
A recent Quinnipiac poll had Cruz sporting a nine-point advantage over O’Rourke among likely voters. That poll was based on phone interviews, while the Ipsos poll used an online survey.
Despite the way these polls may look, Ipsos Vice President Chris Jackson was quick to remind voters that polls might not exactly reflect the results on Election Day.
Jackson said the poll was trying to estimate each party’s political enthusiasm in the lead up to the midterms, asking participants rate their likelihood of voting on a scale from 1-10.
“‘More Democrats are registering at the highest part of the scale, at the 10, than the Republicans,’ Jackson said. And that’s what’s interesting, he said, because Republicans usually have the momentum advantage in Texas,” according to The Texas Tribune.
“It demonstrates how Democrats are mobilized,” said Jackson. “This election is going to be really competitive and its going be very hard fought.”
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 19, 2018
The key issues for Texas voters are healthcare and immigration, according to the poll, but Jackson called it “lopsided.”
Republicans indicated their main concern was immigration while the Democrats main concern was with healthcare, with very little overlap between the two. The issues were, unsurprisingly, split between party lines.
Interestingly, O’Rourke is seen as what the poll considered a “traditional” politician by only 32 percent of respondents, while Cruz was considered “traditional” by 76 percent of poll participants. This appears to be one of the main driving points behind O’Rourke’s swell of support in a climate that’s largely rejecting mainstream, establishment politics, according to Jackson.
This poll comes only days after Cruz and his campaign was widely criticized for what was seen as deceptive and manipulative fundraising mailers sent to Texas voters, the Inquisitr reported.
Cruz also told supporters at a rally that liberals “desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue” and that O’Rourke wants to turn Texas into a California clone, the Inquisitr reported.