Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is leading his likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, by 18 points, according to a poll from the Cruz campaign obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
Cruz leads O’Rourke, 52 to 34 percent, in a survey conducted by WPA Intelligence, which is led by a Cruz adviser. Thirteen percent of likely voters are undecided.
O’Rourke, who has served in Congress since 2013, officially filed to run in late November and has been a prolific fundraiser. While he’s gained a number of endorsements from progressive groups, he’ll have a tough battle in a state no Democrat has won a Senate seat in since 1988.
According to the internal poll, O’Rourke struggles with name recognition compared to Cruz. Of those likely voters polled, only 32 percent have heard of O’Rourke. Meanwhile, 99 percent know Cruz, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
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