Cruz, O'Rourke race neck and neck

"Democrats have had a target on Sen".

A Quinnipiac University poll shows the two men in a dead heat for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Cruz. "The key may well be independent voters".

The Quinnipiac poll found O'Rourke leading among self-identified independent voters, those 18 to 34 years old, and black and Hispanic Texans.

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.

O'Rourke, once thought to be a longshot candidate, has begun outraising Cruz without accepting a single dollar of Super PAC or corporate money.

The Texas representative raised a staggering $6.7M in the first quarter of 2018, more than double what he raised in any previous quarter. O'Rourke's campaign said it now has over $8 million on hand, narrowly behind Cruz's reported $8.2 million.

The Texas senator also mocked O'Rourke for his nickname. O'Rourke, who represents the El Paso area, drew a 30 percent to 16 percent favorability rating, with 53 percent of Texas voters surveyed saying they didn't know enough about him to have any opinion. Although Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, they have a chance to flip Republican-held seats in Tennessee, Nevada and Arizona.

A almost equal amount of Texas voters said they plan to express their support for President Donald Trump (26%) or opposition to him (27%) through their US Senate votes.

Still, Democratic turnout for last month's primaries was the highest it had been since 2002, and the growing Latino population has been slowly shifting Texas to the left.

Men backed Cruz by an 11-point margin (51%-40%), and women favored O'Rourke by a 4-point edge (47%-43%). His campaign strategy consists of visiting all of Texas's 254 counties (he's visited 240 so far) and holding town halls with voters. However, 43 percent of those polled said President Trump would not be an important factor in their U.S. Senate vote. Cruz, a supporter of the wall, has called for tripling border security and ending all paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.