A new Emerson College poll of registered voters shows the gap between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, has continued to diminish to just a single percentage point.
Cruz has 38 percent to O’Rourke’s 37 percent, while 21 percent of registered Texans remain undecided.
The good news for Cruz is Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is polling well ahead of Democrat Lupe Valdez with 48 percent to her 28 percent. Ticket splitting on election day isn’t common enough that Cruz couldn’t expect to get some benefit from Abbott on Election Day.
However, Ted Cruz continues to suffer in perceived favorability compared to Abbott, with independents being the key factor viewing him unfavorably at a whopping 57 percent while Abbott is only at 41 percent unfavorable with the same group. The governor also holds an overall 47 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable, while Cruz is underwater by 6 percent with 38 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable.
The Texas Senate race has definitely become a hot contest, particularly with the media giving “Beto” as many glowing features in such publications as Town & Country magazine, while Cruz is a known quantity and largely disliked and disparaged by the media. But will that ultimately translate to votes in Texas in November? I’d still put my money on no.