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Poll shows Cruz up 5 points on O'Rourke in Texas

Poll shows Cruz up 5 points on O'Rourke in Texas
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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Donald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force MORE (R-Texas) holds a 5-point lead over Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO’Rourke faces pivotal point in Texas battle with Cruz Cruz says he's willing to participate in debate with O'Rourke on CNN Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (D-Texas) in one of the more closely watched Senate races in this year's midterm elections, a poll released Sunday found. 

The Emerson College poll reported 47 percent of likely voters support the incumbent, while 42 percent back O'Rourke. Another 8 percent of voters are undecided.

Cruz maintained an overall edge in the survey despite lagging behind O'Rourke in terms of favorability. 

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Half of those surveyed gave O'Rourke a favorable rating, compared to 38 percent unfavorable, while 48 percent said they view Cruz favorably and 44 percent view him unfavorably.

The poll also found that the fight to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh could bolster Cruz, as 46 percent of those surveyed supported the judge's nomination and 41 percent opposed it. Cruz was among the 50 senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh on Saturday.

In the Texas gubernatorial race, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has a 20-point lead in his reelection bid over challenger Lupe Valdez (D), according to the poll.

The Emerson College survey was conducted Oct. 1–5 among 500 likely voters. Its margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

O'Rourke has garnered national attention for his speeches and his fundraising hauls in his effort to unseat Cruz in a traditionally Republican state, but he continues to trail in most polls.

Meanwhile, the national GOP has mobilized to support Cruz. Vice President Pence is in Texas on Monday to back the senator, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE has pledged to hold a rally with his onetime presidential primary rival, though he has not announced details.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election forecaster, rates the Texas Senate race as as "toss-up."

A RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race shows Cruz with a 6-point lead in the race.