Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has an 11-percentage point lead over his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a jump that appears tied to President Donald Trump's increased popularity, new Quinnipiac University poll shows.
The poll out Wednesday shows Cruz ahead with 50% of likely voters' support compared to O'Rourke's 39%. That's a significant shift from Quinnipiac's April survey that showed O'Rourke just three points behind Cruz.
Cruz's improvement in the survey tracks closely with Trump's popularity. Trump is now at an even 47% approval and 47% disapproval rating -- compared to 43% approval and 52% disapproval in April.
The new survey showed Cruz appearing popular with voters. A majority of Texas voters, 52%, approve of his job performance. He's viewed favorably by 49% and unfavorably by 38%.
O'Rourke is seen favorably by 30% and unfavorably by 19%, an indication he is not yet particularly well-known.
O'Rourke has the ammunition he needs to elevate his profile: He raised $6.7 million in 2018's first quarter, the most of any Senate candidate, and has become a small-dollar Democratic fundraising star.
The poll found Cruz winning white voters, 62% to 28%, and Hispanic voters, 46% to 44%, while O'Rourke performs best with black voters at 70% to Cruz's 15%.
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