Poll: Cruz maintains 9-point lead over O’Rourke

In the race for Texas’ Senate seat, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz continues to hold a 9-point lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke, according to a poll released Thursday.

In the Quinnipiac University poll, 54 percent of likely voters in Texas said they would vote for Cruz and 45 percent said they would vote for O’Rourke. Cruz’s lead has not changed since a similar poll was conducted in September.

The new poll also showed a growing gender divide among Texas likely voters. Support for Cruz from men has increased to 62 percent, which is up 5 points from polling last month. By contrast, a majority of women (52 percent) now say they support O’Rourke, up 4 points since September.

Cruz holds a slightly higher favorability rating among likely voters with 52 percent of them saying they view them favorably. O’Rourke’s favorability has increased slightly since September, but still remains lower than Cruz’s at 45 percent.

O’Rourke leads Cruz with both black (84%) and Hispanic (61%) voters while Cruz maintains an edge with white voters (69 percent).

Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll, said in a statement that O’Rourke has “hit a wall” with just a few weeks left until election day.

“O’Rourke may be attracting massive crowds, but Cruz has a better favorability rating,” Brown said.

“The election is far from over, but Sen. Cruz would have to suffer a major collapse for him to lose,” Brown said. “That is even more unlikely since 97 percent of Cruz voters say they are sure they won’t change their minds.”

The poll was conducted from October 3 – 9 and surveyed 730 likely voters in Texas reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the poll have a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.