Cruz, O'Rourke advance to US Senate matchup

About failing to win such a high percentage of the vote against overmatched rivals, O'Rourke noted that he has focused on campaigning all over Texas, including strongholds for those who cast ballots in the Republican primary. The turnout for Republicans was mostly in line with primary midterms in 2014 and 2010.

"O'Rourke has been pretty successful raising money, he's drawing good crowds and he's generating some excitement", said Robert Lowry, a political science professor at the University of Dallas. She's running to unseat two-term Republican incumbent Will Hurd in the hotly contest district.

"He could win, but only if Cruz makes a big mistake", Lowry said about the general election. "'I don't have any plans right now, but I'm not going to take that bait'".

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But no such blue wave emerged on Tuesday.

Cruz argued in an interview on "New Day" earlier Wednesday that O'Rourke can not win in Texas with his pro-gun control stances. Ted Cruz's $1.9 million haul.

Cruz made his most direct attack on O'Rourke before polls closed in Texas on Tuesday. O'Rourke talks to Rachel Martin following Tuesday's primary in the Lone Star State. Whenever Congress isn't in session O'Rourke packs his days in Texas with events, driving himself between stops. Texas is and will remain, at least for a while longer, a Red State. GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE says the conservative Republican is a moderate by the standards of his home state of Texas. He has vowed to visit all 254 Texas counties and often notes that Cruz brags about hitting each of the 99 Iowa counties on his way to winning that state's caucuses in 2016 - but hasn't done the same back home.

Cruz's sentiment was echoed by John Cornyn, the senior Republican senator from Texas, who told CNN's Phil Mattingly, with a chuckle: "Well, it got my attention". Texas hasn't voted Democratic in a presidential election since 1976, hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1990, and hasn't elected a Democratic U.S. Senator since 1988.

"Beto is the leader", said Ed Espinoza, executive director of the left-leaning Progress Texas. "I think everyone counts El Paso out, and that's a great thing".

Mackowiak, the Republican operative, said despite Democratic enthusiasm, the better-known, and likely better-funded Cruz heads into the general election as the prohibitive favorite.

O'Rourke could have a challenge in Texas, though, when it comes to Second Amendment rights. He's also invited Texans to join him for a run during some campaign stops. "People really like engaging with him".

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