Ted Cruz holds solid lead over Democrat Beto O'Rourke as GOP aims to avoid Texas disaster, new Quinnipiac poll says

Key Points
  • Republican Sen. Ted Cruz holds a lead over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
  • A series of polls showing a closer Texas Senate race had raised GOP concerns about losing the red-state seat.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits on May 4, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz finally got some good news in the Texas Senate race.

The incumbent Republican holds a 9 percentage point edge over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke in his bid to hold on to his red-state seat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. Cruz gets support from 54 percent of likely voters, versus 45 percent for the upstart representative, the survey shows.

A democratic congressman looks to unseat the republican senator in Texas

Republicans had the sounded alarm after a series of polls showed a tighter race between Cruz and O'Rourke, a well-funded challenger who aims to become the first Democrat to represent Texas in the Senate in a quarter of a century. The latest poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

An O'Rourke victory would be a major coup for the Democratic Party as it tries to navigate a brutal map this year to flip two GOP-held seats and take a majority in the upper chamber.

A Quinnipiac poll of Texas voters last month showed a 6 percentage point lead for Cruz.

In Tuesday's survey, 93 percent of likely voters said they had made up their minds. Both candidates had the support of 94 percent of likely voters in their parties, while O'Rourke held a slim lead among independents.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz's full interview with CNBC

Watch Sen. Ted Cruz's full interview with CNBC