Poll: O’Rourke closes gap in race against Cruz

O’Rourke is ahead by two points in new poll, but conflicting surveys show different front-runners

Poll: O’Rourke closes gap in race against Cruz
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso (left), is challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

(KSLA) - Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, is leading Republican Senator Ted Cruz by two points in the U.S. Senate race in Texas, according to a new poll.

The Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia poll released Wednesday finds O’Rourke with 47 percent support among likely voters, compared to 45 percent support for Cruz.

This is the first poll that shows O’Rourke ahead in the race, but the lead is within the survey’s 3.5 point margin of error.

Recent polls disagree on which candidate is currently on top. A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found Cruz leading by nine points among likely voters. That poll surveyed voters over the phone, while the Reuters/Ipsos/UVA poll used an online survey.

According to Reuters, the poll was conducted from September 5 to September 17, and 992 people were surveyed.

As polls tighten, Democrats are becoming more optimistic about winning a U.S. Senate race in Texas for the first time in 30 years.

“Texans are demanding change,” said Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa in a statement. “Polls show the blue wave is rising, but we cannot take anything for granted,” he added.

Some on the right are skeptical about the poll, however. Chris Wilson, a Cruz pollster, blasted the methodology and findings on Twitter. “How many eye rolling emojis am I allowed to use when referring to a ‘poll’?” asked Wilson.

Ipsos Vice President Chris Jackson responded to the criticism by tweeting, “Given your job, you are welcome to use all the eye-rolls. We still feel pretty comfortable with our poll.”

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