O'Rourke Fading Against Cruz in Latest Key Poll

posted by 1200 WOAI -

It looks like the 'blue wave' being touted by Texas Democrats is turning more and more into a mirage as the November election draws closer, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The race that had been driving Democrat enthusiasm and fundraising pits El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke against Republican Senator Ted Cruz, and the fact that an April Quinnapiac Poll found Cruz leading the largely unknown O'Rourke by only three percentage points.

Fast forward to May 31, where a poll out this morning shows Cruz widening his lead to eleven points.

SMU political analyst Cal Jillson says much of that is due to the fact that the poll surveyed 'likely voters' and not 'all voters.'

"Likely voters tend to lean more heavily Republcian, and they may have adjusted their sample toward likely voters," he said.  "If so, that would explain their poll numbers."

Cruz' alleged failing had been the basis of many Texas Democrat fundraising campaigns, not just on behalf of O'Rourke, but on behalf of other Democrats trying to unseat Republican office holders.

Jillson says this doesn't mean the race is over.  He says O'Rourke is a charming candidate and his libertarian-leaning positions, specifically supporting the legalization of marijuana, will be attractive to some conservatives.

"He has raised a lot of money, he is an engaging speaker, an attractive guy," Jillson said.  "Cruz is well liked by conservatives, but not by a lot of other people.  But this is a red state."

O'Rourke's fall in the polls could have widespread implications for Democrats, who have also widely touted his fundraising success.

If big Democrat donors stop seeing O'Rourke as a strong challenger, with so many other races being contested by Democrats nationwide, many will stop donating to O'Rourke and spend their money on candidates who as seen as 'more winnable.'

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