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Poll: Cruz leads O'Rourke by 7 points

Poll: Cruz leads O'Rourke by 7 points

Texas 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) is leading his Democratic challenger, 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, by 7 points in a poll released Tuesday.

If the election for the Senate seat were held today, 47 percent said they would support Cruz, compared to 40 percent who indicated support for O'Rourke, the JMC Analytics survey found. Seven percent were undecided. 

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The latest numbers show a wider gap for Cruz than a survey released last month by Quinnipiac University that said the race was "too close to call" with Cruz just 3 points ahead.

O'Rourke has a better favorability rating than Cruz in Tuesday's poll. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the congressman, compared to 20 percent who have an unfavorable one and 39 percent who said they have no opinion. 

Forty-two percent said they have a favorable view of Cruz, while 44 percent view him unfavorably and 11 percent have no opinion.

Cruz, who is running for a second term, has seen a surprising challenge from the El Paso Democrat who until recently was relatively unknown outside his home district. 

The former Republican presidential candidate is now narrowly trailing O'Rourke in fundraising, after O'Rourke pulled ahead in March despite refusing to accept campaign donations from political action committees. 

But Cruz has heavyweight GOP fundraising machines behind his campaign, including a Republican leadership PAC and the Jobs, Freedom, and Security PAC. 

Republicans remain confident that Cruz will stomp the Democratic efforts in the state, where GOP primary voters outnumbered Democrats by half a million votes. 

The JMC Analytics poll surveyed 575 registered voters from May 19 to 21 and had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.