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 Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal Senate passes Armenian genocide resolution Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' MORE's lead over Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race 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 FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Tenn.) are retiring.

They are also hoping to defeat Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrats spend big to put Senate in play This week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign MORE (R-Nev.), who is the only Republican senator up for reelection in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Clinton tweets impeachment website, encourages voters to 'see the evidence for themselves' MORE in 2016.