DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Beto O’Rourke is downplaying a new Quinnipiac University poll showing him trailing Ted Cruz by nine points in the U.S. Senate race.
The poll, which surveyed 730 likely Texas voters between October 3-9, found the Republican incumbent leads the Democrat challenger, a Congressman from El Paso, 54 percent to 45 percent.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll said, “Congressman Beto O’Rourke has hit a wall and remains the same nine points behind Senator Ted Cruz as he was when Quinnipiac University polled the race last month.”
With Beto O’Rourke continuing to attract big crowds in North Texas and across the state, he rejected the findings and said the pollster and others would be surprised election night. “The energy that we feel here tonight in McKinney we’re seeing all over the state. I think we’re going to see it in the polls on the 6th.”
O’Rourke’s supporters we spoke with agreed, saying they don’t believe the polls.
After reviewing the latest poll, SMU Political Science professor Cal Jillson said, “I think O’Rourke has a real following in Texas. The momentum has been lost, I think he can rejuvenate that momentum, but it isn’t going to be easy.”
O’Rourke and Cruz are very different on many issues including new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
O’Rourke opposed him based on his judicial opinions.
Cruz supported Kavanaugh from the beginning and stayed with him through all the sexual misconduct allegations.
In an interview with KHOU-TV in Houston, Cruz said, “Given that all the corroborating evidence went against the allegations, the right thing to do was confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
Some Democrats say if they win control of the House, they support impeaching Kavanaugh.
When asked if he would support that if he were to win the Senate seat, O’Rourke said, “No, I would not support the impeachment of Judge Kavanaugh.”
He said if elected, he would fight for a Justice very different than Kavanaugh when there is another vacancy. “Must be a judge who believes is voting rights from the perspective of a state that ranks dead last not by accident, but by design, a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body.”
Early voting begins in ten days, and Jillson said the close Senate race raises a fundamental question about the state of Texas politics.
“This will be a really good test of whether a progressive can get across the finish line in Texas because Texas on average is ten points more conservative than the nation.”