While some states prepare for primary dates and runoffs, the general election campaign for some races is already underway.
One highly anticipated race that everyone is watching is the Texas Senate race between incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic opponent.
Quinnipiac released their first poll for the race and the results are pretty surprising:
The closely watched U.S. Senate race in Texas is too close to call, with 47 percent for Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and 44 percent for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.
That’s not good if you’re Ted Cruz.
Yes, this is an early poll. It is only April and with over six months to go, anything can happen. However, if you asked most people, they’d tell you Cruz should have a 7-10 point lead, even now. It’s when you dig deeper, you see why Cruz may not be faring well at the moment. His job approval and favorability numbers are not above 50 percent.
There are wide party, gender, age and racial gaps, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds:
- O’Rourke gets 87 – 9 percent support from Democrats and 51 – 37 percent backing from independent voters, as Republicans go to Cruz 88 – 6 percent;
- Men back Cruz 51 – 40 percent, while women go 47 percent for O’Rourke and 43 percent for Cruz;
- Voters 18 to 34 years old go Democratic 50 – 34 percent, while voters over 65 years old go Republican 50 – 43 percent;
- White voters back Cruz 59 – 34 percent, as O’Rourke leads 78 – 18 percent among black voters and 51 – 33 percent among Hispanic voters.
- Sen. Cruz gets lackluster grades, including a 47 – 45 percent job approval rating and a 46 – 44 percent favorability rating. O’Rourke gets a 30 – 16 percent favorability rating, but 53 percent of Texas voters don’t know enough about him to form an opinion of him.
- Texas voters “like Ted Cruz as a person” 47 – 38 percent. Voters “like Beto O’Rourke as a person” 40 – 13 percent with 47 percent undecided.
Chances are, things may change. O’Rourke benefitted from a ton of news stories about his fundraising prowess and Cruz’s primary win was so easy it didn’t draw much attention. Once the campaign kicks into high gear, it may change but these early results are clearly surprising.