Poll: Senate race between Cruz, O'Rourke a dead heat

The Texas Senate race between Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProgressive millionaire group backs Cisneros, McBath in first public endorsements Manchin and Sinema must help Biden make the Supreme Court look more like America Flake meets with Erdoğan in first official duties as US ambassador MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke says he raised record .2M since launching campaign for Texas governor Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 Cruz bullish on his 2024 chances: 'The runner-up is almost always the next nominee' MORE (D-Texas) is neck and neck, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The 2018 Texas Lyceum Poll showed Cruz leading O'Rourke by a hair — 41 percent to 39 percent, respectively, among likely voters. That's well within the survey's margin of error of 4.67 percentage points of 441 likely voters. 

That's a particularly tight margin for Texas, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in three decades.

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The findings come weeks after O'Rourke, a three-term congressman, reported a staggering $10.4 million fundraising haul in the second quarter of the 2018 cycle, bringing his cash on hand to just under $14 million.

That's far more than the incumbent Cruz, who raised about $4.1 million in the second quarter and has about $9.3 million in cash on hand, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Texas has normally been a reliably red state, voting for President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE over his Democratic challenger Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE by 9 points in 2016.

Chris Wilson, a former pollster for Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign, called the poll's findings into question on Wednesday, saying that the partisan breakdown for the survey “looks nothing like Texas voters.”

While the poll shows a close race for the Senate, Republicans vying for other statewide offices fared much better.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking a second term in office, is leading his Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez 44 percent to 25 percent, respectively, among registered voters. And incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is ahead of Democrat Mike Collier 32 percent to 23 percent among registered voters.

Among likely voters in the poll, their margins increase even more: 16 points for Abbott and 10 points for Patrick.

The Texas Lyceum poll surveyed 806 registered voters across Texas from July 9-25. That includes a subset of 441 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percentage points for registered voters and 4.67 for likely voters.