As the final stretch of the 2018 midterm elections begins, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who once appeared to have a near-guaranteed re-election in the red state, no longer seems to be a safe bet for Republicans to win in November.
The Republican incumbent’s Democratic challenger, El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who has drawn national support, is catching up and he is catching up fast.
According to a recently released e-poll, Cruz now leads O’Rourke by just one per cent, with 38 per cent of the vote to the Democrat’s 37 per cent.
However, the latest polls suggested O’Rourke’s campaign is in more favorable position as the candidate continues to tour the state, county by county, with the assistance of small-donor contributions, which, he touts, do not comprise money from corporate political action committees (PACs).
As chances of a Democratic wave in the midterms are looking more and more likely, Republicans are resorting to desperate measures to tilt the balance in their favor.
In order to reduce the chances of Cruz getting unseated, a Washington-based anti-tax group, the Club for Growth, has stepped in to help the senator by running a major TV ad campaign boasting about him.
The ad in question will be the first major investment made by the group in the Texas race. It previously spent over $6 million to support Cruz’s first run in 2012.
Cruz, who has aligned himself with President Donald Trump, is undeniably one of the most polarizing figures in the Senate, but is now finding himself in a strangely vulnerable position.
Moreover, in the past, the senator has made relentless efforts to smear O’Rourke, who secured the nominee after a successful fundraising effort in his hometown and rose to become a national phenomenon.
For instance, Cruz claimed his opponent is “raising big” money from Hollywood, wants to legalize heroin and condemned O’Rourke for defending NFL players' right to protest during the national anthem.
Apart from disagreeing with O’Rourke over policy issues, Cruz engaged in a hypocritical attack against his Democratic opponent by chastising him for going by a nickname instead of his real first name.
Regardless, the Democrat stayed undeterred by the senator’s attacks on his credibility.
“I don’t pay attention to what Senator Cruz is doing or not doing because I don’t feel like I’m running against him,” said O’Rourke. “I’m running for this country. For everyone in the state of Texas.”
As Democratic candidates continue to gain momentum, Republicans in their desperation may just feel the need to pull out the big guns to fight for power.
Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts