Image copyright Charles Dharapak/AP Image caption U.S. Senator Ted Cruz was first elected to Congress from Texas in 2012
Texas has an election next month to replace outgoing Governor Greg Abbott, and the new governor could help shape U.S. politics for years to come.
A new poll suggests incumbent Governor Greg Abbott holds a strong lead over his likely Democratic challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
But even if Mr O’Rourke defeats Mr Abbott, it is unlikely to be enough to take control of the Governor’s mansion.
The poll shows the two candidates neck and neck, with Mr Abbott on 40% and Mr O’Rourke on 37%. That leaves 30% undecided.
Seven of 11 likely voters surveyed described Mr Abbott as “strong leader”, according to the survey by Quinnipiac University, with a 40% approval rating and an even larger 66% saying they believe him to be “electable” in the upcoming election.
However, just 19% of voters said the same about Mr O’Rourke.
Opinion-research firm Ipsos Polling found similar results earlier this month, but also predicted a win for Mr O’Rourke by a wider margin.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Current Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro and former Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen are also running for governor
Texas is one of three states – along with Georgia and Florida – with a Republican governor, Republican senator and Democratic representative who are all seeking re-election in November.
Each of those races may be crucial to the long-term future of the Democrats’ brand and electoral prospects.
Incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz currently polls 5 points ahead of his likely Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption The poll follows a court ruling on Tuesday that special elections should be held in Virginia for both state houses of the state
Early voting is still taking place for the midterm elections in Texas.
The court on Tuesday gave residents in Virginia the right to cast their ballot for state delegates and senators by absentee ballot.
The change was part of the fallout from the ruling in August by the U.S. Supreme Court, which said this year’s special election could take place.