Pollster: O'Rourke will need support from people who don't typically vote to beat Cruz

Pollster Dan Cox said Thursday that Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate O'Rourke rakes in .1M online in August Texas showdown: Cruz, O'Rourke to face off in debate MORE (D-Texas) will need voters who don't normally vote to defeat incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (R-Texas) in November.

"He's made it a race, and I credit him for running a good unorthodox campaign, but we'll see," Cox, who is the research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"It's one thing to get close in the polls. It's another thing to get voters who don't typically vote, particularly in heavily Latino districts, and I think that's going to be the real question in that race. Turnout," he added.

Recent polls have shown O'Rourke appearing to close the gap with Cruz for his Senate seat in the deep-red state, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in 30 years.

The nonpartisan election handicappers at the Cook Political Report shifted the race earlier this month from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican."

An Emerson College poll released Monday showed Cruz up by 1 point, 38 percent to 37 percent, an edge within the margin of error.

O'Rourke is more popular with young people surveyed in the poll, with 47 percent of 18-34 year-olds saying they favored him, while 28 percent said they favored Cruz.

The senator leads among older voters, with 47 percent of 55-74 year-olds saying they favored him, and 33 percent saying they favored O'Rourke.

— Julia Manchester