MSNBC reporter Geoff Bennett said Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) had the "slimmest of leads" over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke on Monday, although recent surveys show Cruz with a significant polling advantage.
Bennett previewed President Donald Trump's rally with Cruz on Monday in Houston, saying there is a "Texas-sized turnout" for the event between the one-time foes.
Recent Stories in Politics
"For Ted Cruz, this rally is a thing of political necessity, since polling shows him with the slimmest of leads over Democrat Beto O'Rourke in that Senate race there," Bennett said.
However, RealClearPolitics reports Cruz has an average of a seven-point lead over O'Rourke, a congressman representing Texas' 16th Congressional District. Cruz has also cleared the significant 50-percent threshold in the last four surveys.
In a CNN poll conducted from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, he led O'Rourke 52 to 45 percent.
Bennett said Trump's partnerships with former GOP foes like Cruz, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) demonstrate how clearly he has taken over the Republican Party.
O'Rourke has been profiled dozens of times by media organizations and racked up a Senate-campaign-record $38 million fundraising haul in the last quarter as he seeks the titanic upset. The last Democrat to win a Senate seat in Texas was Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.
Cruz, who seeks a second term, has compared his progressive darling opponent to failed Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. Davis received national attention for her filibuster for abortion rights in 2013 and rode the momentum to the Democratic nomination for governor, but she was crushed by Greg Abbott in the 2014 race.
"We're going to win this race," Cruz told VICE News last month. "I feel very good about where we are, but the reason we're going to win it is we're not taking anything for granted."
"Every two and four years, the national media starts to swoon and say there's a blue wave in Texas. Four years ago, we saw it with Wendy Davis," he went on. "Like Beto O'Rourke, Wendy Davis raised tens of millions of dollars and thrilled liberal Democrats in Massachusetts and New York and California."