NEW YORK (CBSNEWS.COM) – A new poll released by Quinnipiac University Tuesday shows Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke down nine points in his race against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Fifty-four percent of likely voters said that they would support Cruz in the election, compared to 45 percent who said they would support O’Rourke.

The two candidates have overwhelming support within their parties: 94 percent of Republicans would vote for Cruz, and 94 percent of Democrats would vote for O’Rourke. Independent voters support O’Rourke by 51 percent. O’Rourke also has the youth vote, as a majority of voters between 18 and 39 would support him. Ninety-seven percent of black voters are also in favor of O’Rourke, and 54 percent of Hispanic voters are supporting him.

However, Cruz has wide margins of support among white voters. A majority of Cruz voters said that the economy and gun policy were the most important issues to them in the election. O’Rourke is a supporter of gun control. A majority of O’Rourke voters said that the most important issues to them were health care and the Supreme Court. Cruz voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He is also a critical vote in the potential confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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