Sen. Ted Cruz has won the senate race for the deep-red state of Texas. The race was one of the most-watched of the midterm elections, given O'Rourke underdog status, and could play a significant role in which party controls Congress.
Throughout recent months, polls showed that Cruz, a Republican, held the lead and broke away from O'Rourke by a significant margin.
Republicans have controlled the governorship of Texas for 18 straight years, and both Senate seats for 19, but the Democratic Party still maintains numbers and could even regain majority party stars in the future.
This year's midterm election was unique for Sen. Cruz, as he faced a credible challenge against Rep. Beto O'Rourke. The state also swung heavily toward Hillary Clinton in 2016's presidential election.
In the primaries, O'Rourke ran on a symbolic campaign that rejected partisanship and the animosity that comes with it, along with corporate money and negative attacks. He also refused to employ pollsters or consultants. His strategy worked, and celebrity endorsements began rolling in, like when LeBron James made the black-and-white "Beto" signage famous. Democrats were intrigued by the skateboarding, punk-rocking congressman.
However, ever since winning the primaries, O'Rourke has not registered higher than 47 percent. In April, he registered at 45 percent; in July, the same Quinnipiac poll pegged him at 43 percent; it was 45 percent in September, and 46 percent in late October.
While many described O'Rourke as non-partisan, he leaned left on many issues. He endorsed Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" plan, he called repeatedly for President Donald Trump's impeachment (which many Democrats rejected, calling it futile and counterproductive).
Cruz ran on a divisive campaign, especially after alienating Texans with his first term as Senator. In fact, Cruz has lagged 10 to 15 points behind Gov. Greg Abbott, showing that there are several hundred thousand voters committed to Abbott but not to him.0comments
A few days prior to the election, many wondered if Beto blew his chances with his kumbaya-style campaign. Karl Rove, the former senior adviser to George W. Bush, explained the bizarre nature of the Texas Senate race to Politico.
“Despite all of Cruz’s problems — and there are plenty — here’s a guy who’s running around talking about Medicare for all, and impeaching Trump, and abolishing ICE. And it’s killing him,” Rove said. “Even for people who dislike Cruz, impeaching Trump strikes many of them as terrible for the country. I’ve got friends and family members who may not vote for Cruz. They don’t like Cruz. But Beto isn’t contesting them. I mean, it’s just weird.”