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Senator Cruz Up By Nine Points in Texas

A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday morning shows U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ahead of his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, by nine points. This comes before an anticipated visit by President Donald Trump that is certain to boost Cruz's numbers in the conservative state.

Sen. Ted Cruz

Cruz is gaining ground among women. In Quinnipiac's September poll, he led by only two points with the demographic; now, he is ahead by six (52% for Cruz to 46% for O'Rourke). This comes after the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Cruz is also holding his own with Hispanic voters, who have been targeted as part of O'Rourke's campaign strategy. Cruz currently holds 37% support among Hispanics, with 61% stating that they will vote for O'Rourke.

This all comes as no surprise, as Cruz "has a 52 - 44 percent favorability rating while "O'Rourke has a divided 45 - 47 percent favorability rating," according to Quinnipiac. Despite O'Rourke's raucous rallies, he is less popular among Texans than the incumbent senator.

Democrats saw the Texas race as winnable, and it was in the "tossup" column on RealClearPolitics as recently as last week.

Success in Texas was key to Democrats' chances of winning the U.S. Senate, which have plunged from a third to less than 20%, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.

Also in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, a conservative Republican, leads Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez by twenty points (58%-38%).