As a Texan, it’s easy to get lazy about my state’s political leanings.
The state is one of the reddest in the nation, being safe in Republican hands for decades with the occasional insanity of a Jackson Lee or Castro attempting to interrupt the flow.
While it’s nice to be able to rest on that kind of dependency, it might not be a luxury Texans have any longer.
Earlier this year I reported that members of blue states were fleeing to Texas by the thousands, and not just the low thousands either. In a 12 month span, 79,000 people had moved to Texas from blue states like New York and California. Many of them doing so because it simply cost far less to live here, and the job grass was far greener.
The problem is that coming to Texas for better economic opportunities does not necessarily mean that people will learn their lesson politically. The people who come from these blue states still bring with them their blue state morality and believe that any wealth and success Texas may have garnered due to its practices of low taxation and minimal government should be utilized to put our money where their mouths are.
Cruz’s challenger, Democratic candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, couldn’t look and sound more like a California leftist if he tried. Everything he says and does reeks of blue state elitism, and it’s no surprise that a lot of his support and money come from out of state as well. For the left, Texas is the juiciest state in the nation, and morphing it into a shade of purple would give it such momentum that it would be hard to slow the left down. It’s why they’ve poured so much time and effort into supporting O’Rourke, who isn’t really a standout politician by any measure.
In fact, as I’ve covered before, O’Rourke has a bad habit of being a bad guy. From trying to flee the scene of a drunk driving accident he caused to seizing land from the poor and getting a cut from development companies he turned the land over to, O’Rourke has demonstrated he’s not afraid to be the villain if it means it benefits him.
None of that will matter to the coastal transplants. O’Rourke isn’t Cruz, and that’s enough for them. Besides, he skateboards!
Cruz might be leading in the polls against O’Rourke, but that margin is far slimmer than it should be. Cruz should be crushing O’Rourke like a wad of paper, but he’s not. O’Rourke is nipping at his heels.
At this time, early voting in Texas is breaking records in the triple-digit percentages.
The #Midterms2018: In #Dallas County, #earlyvoting +325%, Harris County (includes #Houston,) +213%. #HillaryClinton took both in 2016. Does this spell trouble for #TedCruz vs. #betoorourke2020? Watch @LarrySabato @FoxNews @Foxnewspolitics with me: https://t.co/LvSSLtaP1v
— Eric Shawn (@EricShawnTV) October 29, 2018
Yes, the majority of the momentum is on the Republican side after successes like the Kavanaugh confirmation. However, the Democrats are going all in on O’Rourke. They want Cruz gone so badly it hurts, and Democratic voters are feeling the vibe.
Registration in Texas is through the roof and so is turn out. While we can assume that a lot of this is a mixture of Republicans and Democrats, it’s not safe to assume it’s more Republicans than not. What’s more, it should be noted that Independents favor O’Rourke 56-40 percent according to Quinnipiac poll according to WFAA.
Turnout is what matters now, and the experts agree according to KHOU:
“This is the most interesting race statewide that we have had in a quarter of a century where we have an actual Democratic competitive candidate both financially in terms of polls and turn out voting,” SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson said.
The latest Texas Tribune/ UT poll showed Cruz leading O’Rourke by six points but independent voters are leaning towards O’Rourke.
“Everything is going to depend on a bunch more people showing up to the polls,” said Ross Ramsey, editor of Texas Tribune.
Texas voters are energized – so far in early voting, there have been 1. 4 million ballots cast, compared with the 2016 presidential election when there were 1.5 million.
”The question is who has the most money, particularly the senate race, to get out the vote drive on election day,” Jillson said.
Attorney Ramez Shameih gave his entire staff the afternoon off to go vote. He said it’s critical.
“Because I want everyone to vote and feel like they have a say in how the state and country are run,” Shameih said.
It’s safe to have doubts in your mind that Cruz can win. There are signs that point to an O’Rourke victory, as unlikely as it sounds.
Just remember that all signs pointed to the fact that it was unlikely that Donald Trump would be President right up until the moment he was elected.