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Poll: Cruz running neck and neck with Dem challenger

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown O'Rourke's mom discusses past Dem votes after labeled 'lifelong Republican' by son Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (R-Texas) is in a statistical dead heat with Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), his Democratic challenger, a poll released Wednesday showed.

The first Quinnipiac University poll of the race deemed it too close to call. Cruz leads O’Rourke by 3 percentage points — 47 to 44 percent — which falls within the margin of error. 

Eighty-seven percent of  Democrats said they support O’Rourke's bid to replace Cruz, according to the poll, while 88 percent of the state's Republicans said they back the incumbent.

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Forty-six percent of Texas voters view Cruz favorably, while 44 percent who view him unfavorably, the poll found. By comparison, 30 percent of voters view O’Rourke favorably, 16 percent view him unfavorably and 53 percent said they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

O’Rourke has drummed up significant momentum in his race to unseat Cruz and become Texas's first Democratic U.S. senator in more than two decades. 

He reported a fundraising haul of $6.7 million in the first three months of 2018, compared to Cruz, who reportedly raised $3.2 million in the same time period.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE won Texas in the 2016 election with 53 percent of the vote, while Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event MORE received roughly 43 percent of the vote.

The new Quinnipiac poll, conducted April 12–17, has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points. Pollsters surveyed 1,029 Texas voters.