Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) will have to drive his Dodge Grand Caravan a little faster if he wants to catch up to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
A Quinnipiac University poll published Thursday found that O'Rourke, who is challenging Cruz in the upcoming midterm elections, is still 9 points behind. Cruz has held his 54-45 percent lead, the same lead he held last month. Though O'Rourke hasn't gained any ground with likely voters overall, he has won over more women; 52 percent of women polled said they back him, while 62 percent of men support Cruz.
The campaign is "far from over, but Sen. Cruz would have to suffer a major collapse for him to lose," said Quinnipiac's assistant director Peter Brown. "That is even more unlikely since 97 percent of Cruz voters say they are sure they won't change their minds"
O'Rourke has run close behind Cruz for several months, posing just enough of a threat for Cruz's supporters to launch a new wave of sharp criticism against the congressman. O'Rourke's camp, for their part, have continued to push on Cruz's unpopularity in the Senate. The Democrat has gained something of a cult following, both from Texans who want to flip the seat and Democrats all over the country hoping for a blue wave. Despite his growing fandom, however, O'Rourke may be out of luck in the largely red state: 94 percent of Republicans say they are sticking with Cruz.