New Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads Cruz in Texas Senate Race

Democrat Beto O’Rourke attacks police as ‘the new Jim Crow’ just days after praising cops

CNN senior writer and analyst Harry Enten lamented Friday how most polls show Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) losing in his bid to unseat Sen.

The debate at Dallas' Southern Methodist University also saw Cruz criticize O'Rourke's past support for legalizing marijuana, evoking his older half-sister, Miriam, who died of a drug overdose.

The pair will square off again next weekend in Cruz's hometown of Houston, and a third and final debate is set for San Antonio three weeks before the November 6 election.

O'Rourke has garnered national attention in the race and has elevated Democratic hopes for defeating Cruz, and neutral observers say the race is competitive.

"The challenge for O'Rourke is to show that he is more than just a charisma candidate, that he's more than just a pretty face or an empty suit, that he really does have command of the policy issues", Wilson said. He also showed on screen, however, a recent Quinnipiac University poll that shows Cruz leading O'Rourke by nine points, 54 percent to 45 percent.

It's the first of three scheduled ahead of Election Day.

Following the debate, O'Rourke told reporters that Cruz "has a tendency to mischaracterize a position" and was making him appear more politically more radical than he is.

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On Twitter, both candidates' names trended as "Ted Cruz" tweets in the USA topped out at just shy of 70,000, while "Beto" tweets got to 132,000.

Asked what he admired about O'Rourke, Cruz managed to compare him to socialist Sen.

President Trump will visit Texas in October to stump for Cruz.

Mr. O'Rourke was measured in his criticism of Mr. Trump, although he did not dispute Mr. Cruz's point that Mr. O'Rourke is the only Democratic Senate candidate in these midterms who has vowed to vote to impeach Mr. Trump should the chance arise.

"We're talking about criminal justice reform", O'Rourke said to the audience, "let's talk about where this problem started". Men back Cruz 57 - 42 percent.

On the Supreme Court and economics, the specter of President Trump loomed large.

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