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UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

Texas Senate Race: Cruz Leading More Than 4.3 Percent

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October 31, 2018

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

Editor's Note: This press release is presented on behalf of the UT Tyler Texas Opinion Survey.

One week before the November midterm elections, in the race for U.S. Senate, Republican Senator Ted Cruz maintains an edge over his Democratic opponent Rep. Beto O'Rourke among registered voters. Cruz holds a 46.5 percent to 43.3 percent lead over O'Rourke, while 7.7 percent of respondents remain undecided.

"In a state that supported President Donald Trump by more than nine percent in 2016, the incumbent Republican is relying on Trump supporters to help stave off the ascending congressman, despite the president's overall job performance rating standing dead even at 45.4 percent approval and 44.1 percent disapproval in our poll results," said Dr. Kenneth Bryant Jr., UT Tyler assistant professor of political science. 

The importance of demographics and turnout is cited because the two candidates earn lopsided support among certain groups. Cruz enjoys a commanding lead among men (55.7 percent to 38.8 percent) and voters over the age of 65 (52.2 percent to 41.9 percent) while O'Rourke leads among women (49.2 percent to 34.3 percent) and voters between the ages of 18-29 (58.8 percent to 26.5 percent). O'Rourke also holds an edge (40.1 percent to 34.4 percent) among independents.

"Whoever wins this race on November 6, it will be because he managed to more effectively mobilize his key demographic groups," said Dr. Ken Wink, UT Tyler associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said.

When voters were asked which party's candidates for the House they would support if the election were held today, Republican candidates earned a five-point advantage (45.5 percent to 39.2 percent) over Democratic candidates. Down-ballot statewide races illustrate strong support for Republican incumbents over their Democratic challengers. Governor Greg Abbot leads Lupe Valdez (53 percent to 32 percent) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick edges opponent Mike Collier (44 percent to 32 percent).

The poll was conducted over a two-week period, Oct. 15-28, one week prior to the start of early voting in Texas and during the first full-week of early voting.

The project serves as the first statewide poll for UT Tyler.

The poll also represents the only statewide university poll in Texas that contacts residents by phone.

"The blend of phone and internet surveys reflects the strongest methodology and creates and exceptional opportunity for student research and community engagement, two of the four pillars of The University of Texas at Tyler's new strategic plan. The UT Tyler College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science and History and the Department of Social Sciences were essential in establishing this new polling center to expand opportunities for civic engagement," Dr. Mark Owens, assistant professor of political science, said.

For detailed polling results, please visit: uttyler.edu/politicalscience/pollingcenter/.



The UT Tyler-Texas Opinion Survey poll was conducted by telephone using live callers Oct. 15-28, 2018 with a scientifically selected random target sample (provided by the firm Survey Sampling International) of 6,000 Texas registered voters, 18 or older. During a two-week period, 40 students called these registered voters on landlines and cell phones. The overall response rate was 8 percent, with a cooperation rate of 44 percent. This allowed us to generate a sample of 400 registered voters by phone. 


The UT Tyler-Texas Opinion Survey poll was also conducted using a Survey Sampling International panel of registered voters that opt-in to take surveys. This is known as Aristotle. The online panel generated a sample of 633 registered voters.

The data were weighted to be representative of Texas adults. The weighting balanced sample demographics to population parameters. The sample is balanced to match parameters for gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education using through an iterated process known as raking. These parameters were derived from 2016 Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Tables. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the characteristics of the sample closely reflect the characteristics of registered voters in Texas. 

In this poll, the sampling error for 1,033 registered voters in Texas is +/-3.03 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.

Contact: Dr. Mark Owens


















UT Tyler