Texas is a Republican state, and proud if it. But once in a while a Democrat comes around who can swing enough of the vote to attain a state office. Beto O’Rourke may be just such a Democrat in the 2018 cycle. Running against Ted Cruz for one of the states Senate seats in Washington, D.C., O’Rourke is closing the gap in the polls the closer we get to election time.
At the start of the year Cruz was leading by 14-18% in the polls, depending on who you asked. As of July 2018 that lead is down to 8%, with 45% for Cruz and 37% for O’Rourke. This is according to multiple sources, from the End Citizens United PAC to the University of Texas, the latter of whom only had a 5% lead for Cruz in their poll.
How is this happening in deep-red Texas? A combination of factors are contributing to this election cycle. Cruz is widely liked by many, but just as widely dislike by many as well. And the number dissatisfied with him, from all sides of the political spectrum, seems to be growing, according to the latest poll results.
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In addition to Cruz’s unpopularity, O’Rourke, in contrast, has a high approval rating even among some who aren’t planning to vote for him. He is a high-profile candidate who is constantly traveling the state and meeting people. O’Rourke also has solid stands on issues such as the environment and healthcare.
O’Rourke is also gaining support away from Cruz with O’Rourke’s endorsement by various pro-environment groups and campaign finance reform PAC End Citizens United. O’Rourke has refused any campaign contributions from PACs which has, in addition to spurring massive grassroots donations, gotten the attention of End Citizens United.
End Citizens United is itself a PAC, but of a different sort. They help fund and endorse the campaigns of candidates who not only support campaign finance reform to get big money and dark money out of politics but who also run their campaigns in such a way. They mostly endorse Democrats such as O’Rourke and other liberal politicians.