The Cruz-O’Rourke race is suddenly becoming surprisingly competitive. In mid-July the spread in the polls between Cruz and O’Rourke had been +8.4 and now currently sits at +6.5. A Democratic upset is still a long shot, however for a seat the GOP has safely held for 30 years, a single-digit race is enough to make Republicans nervous.
O’Rourke has energized liberal voters statewide and nationally, and he’s put up astonishing fundraising numbers leading up to Election Day. Cruz, meanwhile, has been supporting Trump and attacking his O’Rourke’s progressive record.
Can Ted Cruz lose his Senate race?
It’s close enough that every Republican who cares about Ted Cruz as a US senator needs to be worried.
O’Rourke, a third-term Congress member who represents El Paso, has been consistently polling over the last few months.
Turning Texas blue will require a major uphill battle for Democrats, who will need unprecedented voter turnout in a conservative state, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Cruz is facing a serious challenge in an expensive state that most Republicans didn’t anticipate having to worry about.
Republican panic settling in
Nationally, a Cruz loss would seriously damage the GOP’s chances of holding on to the Senate. In Texas, even a close race between O’Rourke and Cruz could lead to Democrat wins across statehouse and congressional seats.
Senator John Cornyn, the Senate majority whip said:
“If Ted does his job and we do ours, I think we’ll be fine. But if we have donors sitting on the sidelines thinking that, ‘Well, this isn’t all that serious,’ or ‘I don’t need to be concerned,’ then that’s a problem.”
Ted Cruz is different these days
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once joked that if you:
“Killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”
Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner called Cruz a:
“Miserable son of a bitch.”
Cruz has changed his ways and has become much friendlier to his fellow Republicans and they are subsequentlyooks to mobilize around him.
Texas is still an uphill battle
O’Rourke has a lot of money, and voters who do know him overwhelmingly like him.
A lot of money has been spent on Cruz and against O’Rourke in the coming weeks. And that alone is striking: In 2018, Republicans will have to spend a lot in Texas.
What has Trump said about Cruz previously
In early 2016, when the two men were battling it out to become the Republican nominee for president, they were bitter enemies.
The following are just a few of the select quotes Trump had on Cruz:
“To the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, okay?”
“Lyin’ Ted Cruz, one of the great liars of all time. … [He] hates New York. … No New Yorker can vote for Ted Cruz.”
“I’ve never, ever met a person who lies more than Ted Cruz.”
“One of the greatest liars of all time. We call him ‘Lyin’ Ted, Lyin’ ted’ He holds the bible high and then he lies. He truly does lie. He lies so much and he lies badly.”
“He doesn’t know anything about the economy, he doesn’t know anything about jobs. He was a failed senator. He couldn’t get anything passed.”
“He’s a nasty guy, nobody likes him. Nobody in congress likes him.”
“I don’t think he’s qualified to be president. Look at the way he’s dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there — like, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. You’re never going to get things done that way.”
“He’ll say whatever he wants to say. I actually think he’s a very unstable person. I really believe that. I think he’s a very unstable person. But I’ve never had somebody take something that you believe in and just say the exact opposite.”
“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot.”
“Ted Cruz is a total hypocrite and, until recently, a Canadian citizen who may not even have a legal right to run for president.”
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
“This guy Ted Cruz is the single biggest liar I have ever dealt with in my life. I mean it. … He will lie about anything. I’ve met much tougher people than Ted Cruz. He’s like a baby. … He’s like a little baby. Soft, weak, little baby by comparison. But for lying, he’s the best I’ve ever seen. … A guy like Ted Cruz, he has no clue. He never employed anybody. He’s a nasty, nasty guy.”
Why vote for Beto O’Rourke?
Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso.
He ran for El Paso City Council in 2005 and served for two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012, taking on an eight-term incumbent and winning.
In Congress, Beto serves on the House Committees for Armed Services and Veterans Affairs. He has made it a priority to work across the aisle to secure bipartisan support for his legislation, because Beto knows our country is at its best when we can put party aside to work together, build consensus and find common ground.
Much of Beto’s focus has been on improving the ability for veterans to get the health care — and other earned benefits — that they need. He’s also been focused on curbing the influence of corporate money in Congress.