Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz leads U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, by 5 percentage points among likely voters in a new Ipsos online poll released Wednesday in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia. A September Ipsos poll showed O’Rourke ahead of Cruz by 2 percentage points among likely voters.
According to the newly released poll, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for Cruz, while 44 percent said they would vote for O’Rourke; 3 percent said they would vote for someone other than O’Rourke or Cruz, and 1 percent said they wouldn’t vote.
The online poll of about 2,000 Texans over the age of 18 was conducted Oct. 12-18. Ipsos online polls do not have margins of error; instead, the poll's precision is measured using a "credibility interval." This poll's credibility interval was +/-3.1 percentage points among likely voters.
Other recent polls have also shown Cruz in the lead. A Quinnipiac University phone poll of 730 likely voters from earlier this month put Cruz ahead of O’Rourke by 9 percentage points.
Respondents cared most about immigration and health care in the Wednesday Ipsos poll. They saw Cruz as a better candidate to address issues relating to unemployment and jobs, health care, immigration and the Supreme Court, while they favored O’Rourke for environmental issues and social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
The poll also asked respondents whether they saw Cruz and O’Rourke as “traditional” politicians: 78 percent said they perceived Cruz as traditional. That number is up from 76 percent recorded in the September Ipsos poll. Only 32 percent saw O’Rourke as traditional, which did not change from September.
In the Texas gubernatorial race, the poll found that Gov. Greg Abbott leads his Democratic challenger, Lupe Valdez, by 15 percentage points — up from 9 percentage points in the September poll.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.