Kudos to Mother Jones for capturing this:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a new poll released Tuesday shows Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in a tight race with Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. The survey from Crosswind Media has Cruz up just three points—47 to 44—even as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott appears to be running away with his re-election campaign.
Surveys of the Texas Senate race have been pretty steady and they all point to a clear pattern—after coasting to election in 2012 and finishing second in 2016’s Republican presidential primaries, Cruz is in the race of his life. In the four previous public polls of the race, Cruz led by one point, four points, six points, and two points.
While Cruz has been attackingO’Rourke on the airwaves since early August, this poll was conducted amid a new onslaught of anti-O’Rourke ads funded by conservative outside groups, led by the Club for Growth. The spending comes as Washington Republicans are starting to fret publicly about a race that once seemed like a lock.
As a three-term congressman from El Paso, a city that’s not even in the same time zone as the rest of the state, one of O’Rourke’s biggest challenges is defining himself to an electorate that is mostly just discovering him—before Cruz and his allies do it first. That the race is this close with under two months to go suggests he’s succeeded in a way without recent parallel; if the margin were to stay as it is, it would be the closest statewide race in Texas in a generation.
Austin, TX – In a sign of just how crucial the millennial vote might be in the upcoming mid-term elections, a statewide poll released Tuesday shows Ted Cruz leading 47 percent to Beto O’Rourke’s 44 percent among likely Texas voters. Forty-nine percent of Texans between the age of 18-39 identify as supporting O’Rourke, while Cruz’s strongest support comes from voters ages 40 and above.
The Crosswind Texas Pulse Poll also hinted at some dissatisfaction toward Cruz from his own party: While the poll indicates an almost-equal party vote – with 81 percent Republicans favoring Cruz and 83 percent Democrats for his opponent – a surprising 15 percent of Republicans indicated their intent to vote for the Democrat. Forty-six percent of respondents who did not identify with either major party signaled their intent to vote for O’Rourke, versus 39 percent of non-affiliated or independent voters intending to pull the lever for Cruz.
Fifty-five percent of Hispanic voters and 57 percent of Black voters also expressed an intent to vote for O’Rourke, while 52 percent of white voters indicated their support for Cruz. However, 56 percent of voters who do not identify as white, Hispanic or Black also responded positively for Cruz. Only slightly more women overall support O’Rourke than Sen. Cruz, at 47 versus 42 percent.
“Texans are in for a nail-biter that has national implications,” said Crosswind CEO Thomas Graham. “O’Rourke is showing surprisingly strong support in traditionally red-state Texas, and Cruz has the edge in organization at this point, but clearly O’Rourke is gaining some ground.”
We can win this race and Democracy for America is doubling down to help Beto win. Here’s the e-mail I received from DFA today:
Once, the Republican Party wouldn't have been worried that some young Democrat would take down one of their star incumbents in a state as red as Texas. Now, they’re shaking in their boots.
It's because of Beto O'Rourke, who Democracy for America endorsed because he's running a massive people-powered campaign that could topple Ted Cruz — and potentially flip the Senate to Democratic Party control.
Now, new reports out this week show that — with his poll numbers slipping — Cruz may lose. And Republicans are freaking out.
The truth is, we’re not surprised. Beto is running an awe-inspiring grassroots campaign across the state of Texas focused on the issues that matter — like Medicare for All — and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the very top.
After underestimating the grassroots power and promise of Beto’s campaign for Senate, top Republicans are now questioning Cruz’s chances of keeping his seat.
Cruz’s former communications director for his presidential campaign admitted on MSNBC that it’s “possible” he’ll lose, pointing out Beto “consistently out-fundraised him 2-to-1, and he doesn’t take PAC money.”
The second top Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, has called Beto’s people-powered momentum “a serious threat,” while Donald Trump — who hasn't historically been, er, a big fan of Cruz — has tweeted that he'll try his best to rally conservatives to Cruz's sad cause in October.
With November fast approaching, there is now serious hope that Beto's unprecedented grassroots campaign in Texas can flip this critical Senate seat. But if there's one thing we know, it's this: Now that they know that this race is seriously competitive, Republicans are going to give it their all to stop us from winning in Texas.
We’ve got to ramp up critical support now for Beto — before Republicans can save Ted Cruz from political oblivion. Chip in $3 or more today to help Beto's grassroots volunteers knock on more doors, make more calls, and get out the vote today.
Thank you for doing your part to support Beto's game-changing campaign today.
Eden James, Political Director
Democracy for America