Ted Cruz’s lead over his 2018 Democratic challenger just shrunk by a massive margin

According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) just saw his theoretical lead over his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, shrink considerably.

Per the poll, Cruz now leads O’Rourke by only 8 points, 45 to 37 percent, with 18 percent of those polled still undecided.

The news comes in sharp contrast to an internal poll released by the Cruz campaign earlier this month showing the sitting Senator with an 18-point lead over his Democratic challenger.

While O’Rourke’s poll concedes that the current Texas lawmaker struggles with name recognition, that is a far easier barrier to overcome than the fact that Cruz – like Trump – suffers from a negative favorability rating in Texas; 38 percent of those polled view Cruz favorably, while 49 percent view him unfavorably. O’Rourke, meanwhile, has a 20 percent favorability rating, with 19 percent unfavorable and 61 percent still unsure.

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While a Democrat has not been elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas since 1988, a recent surge of victories for Democrats has left the party feeling surprisingly optimistic.

Thus far, Democrats have unseated Republicans in a vast number of what were thought to be unwinnable races. Aside from flipping New Jersey’s and winning Virginia’s gubernatorial races, Democrats also earned a historic victory electing Doug Jones to the Alabama Senate, the first time that a Democrat has won in that state in a quarter century.

Democrats have also picked up a slew of seats in other races around the country, including those in Georgia, Washington, and Florida.

Since the beginning of 2017, Democrats have flipped 15 seats in special elections. Republicans have only flipped three. In total, Democrats have flipped 35 seats from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration. Even in solidly red districts, such as those in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, Democrats are overperforming Trump’s numbers by double digits.

As the Trump administration and its Republican enablers in Congress continue their assault on the will of the American people – from healthcare to tax cuts for the rich to net neutrality to immigration – voters across the country are delivering a serious message to the White House, one race at a time.

With Cruz almost as unpopular as Trump, Democrats would love nothing more than to send him packing.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.