The same August Marist poll that showed O’Rourke closing in on Cruz also revealed that the president’s approval ratings among adults in the Lone Star State are underwater. Only 43 percent of the nearly 1,000 respondents in the weighted survey said they approved of the job Trump is doing as president. Forty-six percent, meanwhile, said they disapproved, and 11 percent said they were unsure.

For Cruz, the idea that his fellow Republican, the president, could actually harm his re-election prospects in Texas would be an especially bitter pill for the senator, who lost the 2016 Republican presidential primary to Trump.

The battle for the nomination raged for months between Trump and Cruz, and it often got ugly and personal.

Trump repeatedly insulted Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, and at one point Trump suggested that Cruz’s father, a Cuban immigrant, may have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cruz, for his part, called Trump a “pathological liar,” a “sniveling coward,” a “serial philanderer” and “utterly amoral.”


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