The gender gap in this race is tighter than what CNN has measured in nationwide polling on the House generic ballot and in other Senate contests. In four other critical battlegrounds, the gender gap has been 30 points or higher in three states, and stood at 21 in the fourth. In this contest, it’s a narrower 18 points. O’Rourke holds just a 2-point edge among women, the smallest for a Democrat among women in the states CNN has polled so far. The next closest is Jacky Rosen’s 14-point lead among women in Nevada earlier this month in her race against Republican Sen. Dean Heller.
In Texas, the race gap appears more meaningful than the gender gap. Latino voters break sharply in O’Rourke’s favor, 62% to 35%, while white voters favor Cruz by a 2-to-1 margin, 66% to 33%.
Likely voters in Texas place immigration at the top of their issue list: 26% call it the most important issue in deciding their vote, while 23% call the economy their top priority. Cruz leads among both sets of voters. O’Rourke has a wide edge among the 19% of voters who call health care their top issue. Eleven percent say their top issue is national security, 8% gun policy and 5% the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.