Who knew that being respected and liked by absolutely nobody might affect your election chances?
It was just a few months ago that Ted Cruz enjoyed an 18-point lead over his challenger, Beto O’Rourke. This was supposed to be a cakewalk. An incumbent Senator in a red state against a newcomer.
But now? Well, the results are in from a recent Quinnipiac poll. (Quinnipiac is one of the most respected polling outfits in the biz, as they base their results on live interviews instead of robocalls.) In short, Ted Cruz is losing some serious ground.
The GOP—specifically the NRSC– is going to have to divert money that they had planned to spend elsewhere to save his sorry a$$:
The poll from Quinnipiac University shows the two men in a dead heat: 47 percent of registered voters in Texas support Cruz, the Republican incumbent, while 43 percent back O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat.
That number falls within the poll's 3.6 percent margin of error.
This is with a sampling that had a higher number of republicans, btw.
Beto isn’t just beating him in polling either. He has now doubled what Ted Cruz has been able to raise this year with a whopping $6.7 million.
Of course, the NRA has always been Ted Cruz’s white knight. The gun manufacturer’s lobby has given him more money than anyone—almost 400K. Unfortunately for Ted, the NRA is having a bit of a rough year ever since a bunch of kids from Florida have been turning them into a pariah and chasing off their corporate partners. (Darn. Ted will have to get his Russian dark money some other way.)
And the good news keeps on coming!
The poll had another ominous warning for the GOP: President Donald Trump was underwater in Texas, with 52 percent of respondents disapproving of him and 43 percent approving of his job performance.
I lived and worked near Houston, Texas the last few months of 2017. Families are still suffering from Trump’s Harvey incompetence. Even when I left two months ago, there was not a hotel room available in or around the city. The only response to the hurting families from the Trump administration has been assurances of how much he hates brown people. (In a state filled with Hispanics, this is surprisingly not playing too well.)
In case you were wondering, Ted’s approval rating is also pretty abysmal. So you have a sitting Senator everyone hates along with a very unpopular president from the same party. How exactly did the GOP think this was going to go down?
Rightwing media is freaked out enough to sound the alarm:
Quinnipiac poll shows Ted Cruz in trouble in Texas
C’mon, this “Beto!” thing isn’t really happening, is it? He hates the NRA, supports abortion, supports impeachment, and is in striking distance — in Texas?
Just two months ago, Gallup declared Texas a battleground state, with a record number of Democrats turning out for the primaries and strong candidates running in several competitive seats. (There are many this year.)
The GOP has been trying to put on a confident air and keeps saying we are wasting our time with the Texas Senate seat. Even now, they are assuring themselves that once Ted Cruz “reminds” them he’s conservative that everyone will fall in line.
What they fail to get is that Ted Cruz is truly a miserable human being. The man allowed Donald Trump to mock his own wife’s appearance, shame her mental illness, and spread a wild conspiracy theory about his father. What kind of a man does that? The problem isn’t that Texans don’t know who he is, the problem is they know exactly who he is.
That’s why Beto has been surging. That’s why he is drawing bigger crowds in conservative enclaves than Ted Cruz is. And Beto is doing all of this while even refusing special interest PAC money.
That’s why the GOP is scared.
They should be.