Poll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is considering a potential presidential bid in 2020, but a new poll finds that he could pose a competitive challenge if he were to run for Senate again in the Lone Star State.

survey from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) released Friday shows O'Rourke polling just 2 points behind incumbent Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm GOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (R-Texas) in a hypothetical matchup, 47 to 45 percent, with 8 percent of registered voters undecided.

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O’Rourke enthralled the progressive base and garnered a record amount of small donations in his Senate bid last year against incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Cruz in 2016 said 'something fundamentally wrong' with Christians who back Trump: book Hillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid MORE (R), losing by less than 3 points in the ruby-red state.

Though O’Rourke is known to be mulling a presidential bid in 2020 — and has said he will decide on whether to launch a White House campaign by the end of this month — the Democratic rising star is being courted to run for the Senate for a second time.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told the Dallas Morning News this month he would support O’Rourke in either race, but thought there was a greater chance of victory focusing on the Senate. 

“He just needs to decide where he thinks he can better serve and have a better chance of winning,” Hinojosa said. “It's not just, can he do more as president, but where can he win?”

O’Rourke also reportedly met with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) this month to discuss his future political ambitions.

The PPP poll also shows President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE’s approval rating just above water, with 48 percent of registered voters saying they approve of the job he’s doing and 47 percent disapproving. Another 5 percent are unsure.

The poll was commissioned by Dallas Democratic consultant Jeff Dalton. The survey of 743 registered voters in Texas was conducted Feb. 13-14 and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.