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Beto O'Rourke defended his 2% total in a new Iowa Democratic caucus poll on ABC's "This Week," arguing that if he relied on polls in any race he had run, he never would have served in Congress or taken on Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

"I don't know that this many months out from the caucuses in Iowa that these polls really indicate what our prospects are. If I relied on polls in any race that I've run, I never would have been able to serve in the United States Congress, we would never tried to take on Ted Cruz. ... These polls, this far out, I really don't think describe the full picture. We got a lot of time, a lot of work, but thankfully, we have a number of extraordinary volunteers who are going to make this possible."

Why it matters: The former Texas representative has been trending downward ever since he announced his candidacy for president, from 11% in December to 5% in March to 2% in Saturday night's poll. Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll found 60% of Texas Democrats would rather see O'Rourke challenge Republican John Cornyn for his Senate seat in 2020 than continue to run for president.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

7 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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