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Beto O'Rourke May Have Just Pulled Ahead of Ted Cruz in His Longshot Race For U.S. Senate In Texas

The Texas Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz (R) and his challenger, Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D), is a nailbiter. A new Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics Poll released on Wednesday shows that Democrats may very well be in their way toward capturing an elusive Senate seat in deep red Texas.


While most polls have shown Cruz up by single digits over O'Rourke, this new Reuters/Ipsos poll gives O'Rourke a two-point edge over Cruz, 47-45 percent among likely Texas voters. O'Rourke could become the first Democrat to win a statewide race in the Lonestar State in nearly three decades.

Reuters reported that its poll "showed Hispanic voters preferring O’Rourke by about a 2-to-1 margin over Cruz, who is of Cuban heritage."

O'Rourke launched his first Spanish television ads on Tuesday in hopes to spur Hispanic voter turnout, which is crucial to a Democratic victory this year and essential if Democrats hope to retake the Senate and turn Texas blue in future presidential elections.

"There’s a possibility it could happen," Larry Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics, said of a possible O'Rourke victory. "I’m not saying probable. But it’s possible."

Sabato added that Cruz's feuds with Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race "damaged him with parts of the Texas electorate that he needs for re-election.”

The Texas Senate poll was one of several released by Reuters/Ipsos on Wednesday, not all of which had good news for Democrats, who need to run the table if they're going to win back the Senate in November.

While it had O'Rourke slightly up, two other Democratic Senate hopefuls -- incumbent Bill Nelson in Florida and Jacky Rosen in Nevada -- were slightly down in their Senate races. And the Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas, Lupe Valdez, was faring even worse, down 9 points against Text Governor Rick Abbott. Which makes it all the more impressive that this poll shows such strength for O'Rourke in the Republican stronghold.

Of course, that is just one poll. Just yesterday, in fact, a Quinnipiac poll was released showing Cruz with a nine-point lead over O'Rourke.

Twitter is reminding people that no matter what the polls say, everyone must vote.

Other result from the poll included good news in Arizona, where Democrat Representative Kyrsten Sinema holds a three-point lead over Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally. Both women are seeking to replace Jeff Flake (R), who is not seeking a second term.

The leads held by Democrats in Texas and Arizona "are within the poll’s 4-percentage-point credibility intervals, a measure of precision," Reuters notes, "meaning the candidates are drawing about the same level of support."

In Florida, the race for governor has the potential to be historic. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) holds a six-point lead over Republican challenger Rick DeSantis, a Trump-supporting Congressman. Should Gillum prevail, he would become Florida's first black governor.

Reuters says that Gillum's lead could help Senator Bill Nelson (D) hold on to his seat "as the two share the Democratic ticket across the state." According to Wednesday's poll, Nelson trails Rick Scott, Florida's retiring Republican governor, by one percentage point, essentially making it a tied race.

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) holds a healthy 20-point lead over her challenger from the left, State Senator Kevin de Leon, the poll shows.

In Nevada, incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller's lead over Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Rosen is only three points, within the margin of error. "Heller is the only Republican senator defending a seat in a state that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in 2016," Reuters says.