Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is trailing his Democratic challenger Rep. Joaquin Castro in a new poll from The Texas Lyceum.
Castro, along with fellow Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke, are challenging the former presidential candidate in the 2018 midterm election.
The poll found:
- Voters prefer Castro to Cruz 35 percent to 31 percent.
- Voters are evenly split on Cruz and O'Rourke at 30 percent.
- 37 percent of voters in Texas haven't thought about the election.
"Ballot tests conducted this far in advance of an actual election are, at best, useful in gauging the potential weaknesses of incumbents seeking re-election," said poll director Daron Shaw, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. "But the substantial percentage of undecided respondents — coupled with the conservative, pro Republican proclivities of the Texas electorate in recent years — suggest a cautious interpretation."
The last Democrat to win election to the Senate in Texas was former Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, who served as senator from 1971 to 1993. His successor, Democrat Bob Krueger, was appointed to the seat but lost the subsequent election to Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
"It is entirely clear that Texans aren't buying what Republicans in Washington or Austin are selling," Texas Democratic Party spokesman Manny Garcia told The Dallas Morning News. "Donald Trump's numbers are in the ditch, Texas Republicans are vulnerable, and our Democratic champions are poised for the battle of a lifetime in 2018."
The Texas Lyceum surveyed 1,000 registered voters in Texas by phone, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
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