A new poll released Wednesday suggests that U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, are in a dead heat.
The poll from Texas Lyceum shows Cruz holding a slim margin over his Democratic challenger in the U.S. Senate race. Among likely voters, Cruz carries 41 percent of the vote compared to O’Rourke’s 39 percent. Nineteen percent of voters said they were undecided.
That lead falls within the polls 4.67 percent margin of error.
“O’Rourke continues to nip at Cruz’s heels, but it’s a long way to go until Election Day,” Josh Blank, Lyceum Poll Research Director, said in a news release. “If this race looks different than the rest, that’s probably because it is because a strong Democratic challenger raising prolific sums of money and tons of earned media.”
The newest poll is sure to draw skepticism from Cruz supporters. Even before it was released, Cruz's pollster Chris Wilson published an article on Medium questioning whether it would be accurate.
"Dating back to 2008 the Texas Lyceum has generously given Democrats a massive house effect boost of seven (7!!!) points," he wrote, add that the poll has historically overestimated the share of the Hispanic vote.
With 97 days before the November general election, the poll revealed good news for Republican statewide candidates: Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton all seem to hold formidable leads over their Democratic challengers.
Among the statewides, Abbott had the largest lead over his opponent, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The Republican incumbent — who’s sitting on a hefty war chest ahead of November — is reportedly leading his opponent by 16 percentage points with 22 percent of likely voters undecided.
Both Patrick and Paxton hold 10 point leads over their Democratic challengers Mike Coller and Justin Nelson, respectively.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is in a less comfortable position among Texas voters. Among those surveyed, 52 percent said they disapproved with the president's job performance — including 85 percent of Democrats. Eighty-five percent of Republicans said they were satisfied with Trump.
In its news release, Texas Lyceum said its poll was conducted via a telephone survey of adult Texans. Respondents were randomly selected and questioned by live interviewers, pollsters said.
Disclosure: Texas Lyceum has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.