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Poll: Cruz lead over O'Rourke shrinks to 5 points

Poll: Cruz lead over O'Rourke shrinks to 5 points

GOP Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments Quinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas MORE's lead over Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCalls grow for Democrats to ramp up spending in Texas Texas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House Union leader vows 'infrequent' minority voters will help deliver Biden victory MORE (D) in the closely watched Texas Senate race has shrunk to 5 percentage points in a new poll.

Cruz is leading O'Rourke among likely voters, 51 to 46 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll released Monday, with 3 percent of voters remaining undecided.

The narrow lead marks a tightening in the Senate race from an Oct. 11 Quinnipiac poll, which found Cruz leading O'Rourke by a 9-point margin, 54 to 45 percent.

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Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement that O'Rourke remained "within striking distance," but "time is running out" if he is going to overtake Cruz.

"Sen. Cruz is ahead due to his winning the 'gender gap.' He wins men 56 - 39 percent, while Representative O'Rourke can manage only a 52 - 45 percent edge among women," Brown added.

Only 2 percent of likely voters who said they have decided whom they will support in next week's midterm election told Quinnipiac that they could change their mind.

The new poll was conducted from Oct. 22 to 28 and includes surveys of 1,078 likely Texas voters. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Cruz's lead in the Quinnipiac poll is narrower than his 6-point lead in a RealClearPolitics average of recent polling.

Democrats face a narrow path in an increasingly uphill battle of winning back the Senate majority.

In addition to keeping 10 seats in states won by Trump, including some races in which Democratic incumbents are behind in the polls, they would need to pick up two seats currently held by a Republican senator.

Democrats have focused their efforts on winning seats in Arizona and Tennessee, where GOP Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOne of life's great mysteries: Why would any conservative vote for Biden? Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Biden holds 8-point lead over Trump in Arizona: poll MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Has Congress captured Russia policy? MORE (Tenn.) are retiring.

They are also hoping to defeat Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.), who is the only Republican senator up for reelection in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBon Jovi to campaign with Biden in Pennsylvania The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Biden gets late boost with key union endorsement MORE in 2016.