Cruz Leads O’Rourke, Early Voting Turnout Is High And The Migrant Caravan Is Energizing Trump’s Base

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningOctober 26, 2018 1:34 pm

Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor in chief of The Texas Tribune.

A new University of Texas and Texas Tribune poll reports Ted Cruz is up by six percentage points over Beto O’Rourke in the Texas Senate race – Cruz has 51 to O’Rourke’s 45, with other points going to the Libertarian candidate.

Independents are leaning more toward O’Rourke in this particular race, so he may be seeing a slight bump as a result. However, this poll does not take into account any actual ballots cast during the early voting period.

“This is about in line with a lot of the other polling your seeing right now,” Ramshaw says. “I think this is an accurate reflection of where the electorate was in the last several days. That said, I think these early voting turnouts have been so high that that’s probably equally as exciting for the Democrats in this race.”

Early voting turnout is high across the state, including the top-30 counties in Texas with the most registered voters. Texas is on track to surpass the 2014 midterm voter turnout, with poll numbers getting closer to those seen in presidential elections.

As the so-called migrant caravan makes its way north, national attention has shifted to the U.S. border with Mexico once again. President Donald Trump is reported to be considering a plan to ban the entry of migrants and deny any requests for asylum – a move that would most likely end up court.

“This tends to be an issue of border security and immigration that really riles up the Republicans,” Ramshaw says. “I think you can see Republicans making a lot of noise about this and taking advantage of this caravan as an opportunity to have another conversation about border security. Again, a great example of a way to get the base excited ahead of this election.”

Written by Brooke Vincent.