Texas ‘Blue Wave’ Could Take Down Ted Cruz And Deal Big Blow To Donald Trump, Polls Indicate

With just three months until the November midterm elections, two polls out of Texas Wednesday showed the gap between Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his opponent Beto O’Rourke narrowing and putting the Democratic representative well within striking distance of the incumbent.

A Quinnipiac poll placed O’Rourke just six points behind Cruz at 49-43 percent, a sizable jump from the 11 point advantage Cruz had at the end of May, the last time the poll was administered. Cruz has an advantage with white male voters, but O’Rourke is leading the field with female and minority populations.

"U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has a slight, by no means overwhelming, lead," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "Congressman Beto O'Rourke has done a good job making the race competitive. With three months until Election Day, he is clearly in contention. A Democratic victory in the Lone Star state would be a serious blow to GOP hopes of keeping their U.S. Senate majority,"

Still, O’Rourke lacks the name recognition that Cruz carries. "O'Rourke makes a good impression on voters, but only about half the Texas electorate has formed an opinion of him. Senator Cruz has a good favorability overall and is the much better known of the two men," explained Brown.

The 2018 Texas Lyceum Poll, also released Wednesday, indicated a much tighter race. The survey had O’Rourke just two points behind Cruz, with a 41-39 percent spread.

“Turning Texas blue has been the great white whale for Democrats,” Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, told Newsweek earlier this year. “And it will turn blue, but not in 2018. It would take a major meltdown for Cruz to lose. The idea makes for good cocktail conversation, but there’s not much to watch.”

Read more from Nicole Goodkind at Newsweek

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Analysis & Political Strategy