U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) leads U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), 54%-45%, among “likely voters,” says a new poll by Quinnipiac University (PDF). This is just the second significant poll to show Cruz over 50% this cycle. Prior Quinnipiac polls have shown Cruz with a six-point lead (July), an 11-point lead (May) and a three-point lead (March), but those were polls of “Texas voters,” which we take to mean registered voters. This time, the pollsters specifically asked respondents on their likelihood to vote and included only “likely voters.”

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted

Cruz’s overall favorability rating is 52/43 and his overall job approval rating is 53/44. O’Rourke’s overall favorability rating is 43/42. Just 14% of respondents “haven’t heard enough” about O’Rourke to form an opinion, demonstrating that he has been successful in boosting his name identification in recent months.

The same poll shows Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leading former Dallas Co. Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D), 58%-39%. Abbott’s overall favorability rating is 60/33 while Valdez’s is 28/28. More than two out of five respondents “haven’t heard enough” about Valdez to form an opinion.

Consistent with other recent polls, Cruz trails Abbott in favorability by about 10 points. Abbott’s lead over Valdez (+19) is 10 points larger than Cruz’s lead over O’Rourke. “Independent” voters have a slightly unfavorable view of Cruz (44/53) and a fairly favorable view of O’Rourke (51/34), but they only favor O’Rourke slightly, 51%-47%. Cruz leads among men, 57%-42%, and among women, 50%-48%. Hispanic/Latino “likely voters” favor O’Rourke by just 9 points (54%-45%). Abbott leads Valdez, 49%-45%, among Hispanic/Latino voters.

The poll shows respondents split evenly, 49/49, in their assessment of President Trump’s job performance. Men (54/44) and women (44/54) are exactly opposed, while “independents” view Trump unfavorably on balance (40/58). Nearly half of all self-identified Democratic respondents and respondents under age 35 said they have “become more politically active” since Trump’s election.

The poll of 807 “likely Texas voters” was conducted via landlines and mobile phones with live interviewers and was in the field September 11-17. The stated margin of error is ±4.1%. The margin of error for subsamples, such as Hispanic/Latino voters, is higher. The partisan breakdown of respondents was 35% Republican, 26% Democratic and 33% “independent.”

Recent polls and our reports about them:

We will repost this list with additional polls as we get closer to Election Day.

* We have serious reservations about the Emerson poll and included it in our reports, and on this list, solely because it received national news attention.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC