Quinnipiac University released a poll Wednesday showing the Texas Senate race in a dead heat, with incumbent Sen. Cruz and his Democrat challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke within points of each other. Cruz’s lead is within the poll’s margin of error.

First, the poll’s findings:

The closely watched U.S. Senate race in Texas is too close to call, with 47 percent for Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and 44 percent for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

There are wide party, gender, age and racial gaps, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds:

O’Rourke gets 87 – 9 percent support from Democrats and 51 – 37 percent backing from independent voters, as Republicans go to Cruz 88 – 6 percent;

Men back Cruz 51 – 40 percent, while women go 47 percent for O’Rourke and 43 percent for Cruz;

Voters 18 to 34 years old go Democratic 50 – 34 percent, while voters over 65 years old go Republican 50 – 43 percent;

White voters back Cruz 59 – 34 percent, as O’Rourke leads 78 – 18 percent among black voters and 51 – 33 percent among Hispanic voters.

Sen. Cruz gets lackluster grades, including a 47 – 45 percent job approval rating and a 46 – 44 percent favorability rating.

O’Rourke gets a 30 – 16 percent favorability rating, but 53 percent of Texas voters don’t know enough about him to form an opinion of him.

Texas voters “like Ted Cruz as a person” 47 – 38 percent. Voters “like Beto O’Rourke as a person” 40 – 13 percent with 47 percent undecided.

The Q Poll surveyed just over 1,000 self-described registered voters with the following breakdown:

PARTY IDENTIFICATION

Republican 31%
Democrat 24
Independent 36
Other/DK/NA 10

Despite the Q Poll, Real Clear Politics still lists the race as “leans Cruz.”

There are a few questions I’d like answered before getting too riled up here: 1) What’s the location breakdown of the poll, and 2) how many polls were completed in English vs. Spanish (participants had an option), and 3) why were independents oversampled?

A poll published in January had Cruz up 18 points and a poll published by lefty outfit, Public Policy Polling. It’s findings were as follows:

Texas is a huge state with very distinct cultural pockets. Where people are from makes a difference here.

The quickest way to lose any race is to assume it’s already been won. Every race, even those that should be a shoe-in, ought to be treated like a battle.

The Cruz camp didn’t release a statement on the poll but instead, sent a fundraising email.

As of now, we simply don’t have enough data to determine the accuracy of the Q Poll. Could be close, could be an outlier.

Whether the poll is truly indicative of state-wide support (and I question that it is), Cruz can’t take this race for granted. He has deep fundraising pockets, the benefit of having run a state-wide and nation-wide campaign, and a solid support base.

O’Rourke’s camp is hungry and organized. Whether their goal is to win or just make a dent, they’re not going down without a fight and they have plenty of out-of-state money pouring into to help. Add to that the Democrat Party’s desperation for a victory somewhere, anywhere, especially in a red state, and you can bet they’re putting everything they have into this race.