Ted Cruz is in trouble in a tight Texas Senate race, new poll finds

It appears Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is in trouble in his quest for re-election in November.

A Quinnipiac poll published Wednesday found Cruz leading his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, 47% to 44% — within the poll’s 3.6-point margin of error.

“Democrats have had a target on Sen. Ted Cruz’s back, and they may be hitting the mark,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a release. “Once expected to ‘cruise’ to re-election, the incumbent is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.”

The former presidential hopeful is one of just nine Republican senators up for re-election in 2018. Democrats, on the other hand, are defending 26 seats, many in states President Donald Trump won in the 2016 election.

More: Congressional lawmakers not seeing re-election come 2018

Democrats began the election cycle looking to stave off massive Senate losses. But now, a growing backlash to Trump is putting seats like Cruz’s in play. In fact, Trump’s unpopularity is a factor in Cruz’s re-election hopes — just 43% of Texas voters approve of Trump’s job performance, according to the poll.

Of course, the November midterm is months away, and the poll found that O’Rourke is unknown among a large number of voters This indicates that there’s room for Cruz and Republicans to define him to voters.

However, O’Rourke has proven to be an adept fundraiser, raising a massive $6.7 million in the first three months of the year.

Therefore, O’Rourke will also have the resources to define himself and compete in Texas— a massive state where its expensive to run a campaign.