Recent polls are showing a tightening of the Texas Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke.
Here’s what RCP is showing now in the latest polls (click to enlarge):
Notice the recent Quinnipiac poll versus the one done in May. Cruz’s lead has been cut nearly by half over the course of three months.
Of course, the more recent polls that use ‘likely voters’ show Cruz in a much better position (except that crazy one from Texas Lyceum) than the polls using ‘registered voters’. But both of Quinnipiac’s polls use the same ‘registered voters’ and similar size polling samples and the tightening pattern there is clear.
This has led to the Cook Political Report moving the Texas Senate Race from ‘likely Republican’ to ‘lean Republican’:
This race in a state that isn’t usually competitive for Democrats in statewide races has generated an unusual amount of attention. Most of it is thanks to U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee, who is running an unconventional yet successful campaign that has piqued the interest of Democrats around the country. Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz also gets some of the credit as a conservative lightning rod. The result is a closer than expected contest that moves to the Lean Republican column.
Suffice it to say that O’Rourke has made incredible progress in a pretty red state, at least when it comes to running for statewide office. The race moves to Lean Republican. Whether it ever gets to Toss Up remains to be seen.
I doubt very seriously that it will ever move to the ‘Toss Up’ stage. But even Ted Cruz has now admitted that the race is tightening and O’Rourke is gaining momentum:
“There have been polls all over the place but there is no doubt that the far left is energized and angry and that is reflected in the record breaking fundraising Congressman O’Rourke is seeing, as liberals all over the country are pouring millions of dollars into his campaign,” he told The Dallas Morning News. “We are taking the campaign very seriously.”
I do believe he is taking the campaign very seriously as he has just released a new ad today that will be airing on TV:
#CruzCrew: Be one of the FIRST to see our new 📺 ad…
Retweet to share it with your friends and fellow Texans! #TXSen pic.twitter.com/X6qZoLiQ9i
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 3, 2018
That’s a good ad and the kind of ad that should pull on the heart strings of people for Cruz.
I personally don’t think Cruz is in danger of losing this race and I expect at the end of the day that he will handily defeat O’Rourke. But what can’t be denied, and what Cruz has said repeatedly, is that the left is highly motivated and he expects a fight to the finish. He has always said he would take this race seriously and that hasn’t changed just because the race is tightening.
I should note that I’ve read that later in the summer, Quinnipiac will move their model from registered voters to likely voters, which should give a more accurate view of the race in terms of point spread. And I think then we’ll see the point spread increase back to the double digit range or close to it.