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Poll: Cruz running neck and neck with Dem challenger

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' 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 TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE won Texas in the 2016 election with 53 percent of the vote, while Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to name longtime aide Blinken as secretary of State: report Understanding mixed results in Pennsylvania key to future elections What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? 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.