Ted Cruz ramps up as Democrats seek to take him down
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is hoping to avoid repeating his close call in 2018 as he prepares for what could be the most expensive race on the Senate map of next year. He may face a challenge from Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas.
Democrats hope that the race will be a rare contest to win a GOP-held position in 2024. Cruz, a conservative firebrand who has served two terms, wants to turn his 2018 narrow victory in a knockdown-and-drag-out battle into the exception, not the norm.
In a short interview with The Hill, Cruz said: “I am very confident about the election.” “I expect the Democrats to spend at least $100 million on nasty attack ads, because they are angry and want to show that anger. For my part, I will keep the race focused on our records and visions for Texas.
Cruz is fortunate that the situation has drastically changed from last year to this election cycle. Cruz’s first reelection bid was a fresh one after his presidential campaign in 2016 and his high-profile battles with the former president Trump.
Polling confirms this. Cruz’s job approval is 45 percent according to University of Texas tracking. This figure has been relatively stable throughout his second term. Cruz’s approval rating fluctuated between 38 and 40% throughout the 2018 election cycle.
The Texas senator also faced a formidable opponent in the form of former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D–Texas), a Democrat who combined a message promoting unity with an anti-Cruz sentiment that was shared by both Democrats and Independents. He had unmatched fundraising skills and created a perfect storm to defeat him.
Cruz won, but by less than 3 percentage points. This virtually ensures he will not be caught off guard as the battle with Allred approaches.
I think that the $80,000,000 that Beto was able to raise from small dollar contributions in a relatively brief period of time sort of sneaked up on Ted. John Cornyn, a Republican senator from Texas, said that this would not happen again. I told him that he was going to win but it could be the most expensive Senate election in Texas history again.
Allred, a former NFL player, presented his argument in a video rollout last week. He targeted Cruz’s push to overturn 2020 election results, and his travel to Cancun, Mexico, in February 2021, while the state of Florida was paralyzed due to a deadly winterstorm.
Allred stated that Ted Cruz is only concerned about himself.
Allred turned a red district that was competitive in 2018 into a blue one, and Cook Political Report, whose predictions are nonpartisan, changed the Senate race’s status from “solid Republican” (to “likely Republican”)
Cruz and the Texas Republicans are armed with a variety of arrows for the contest in 2024.
Texas is still a state with a strong right-leaning, as shown by the success of the Republican Party in 2022. Greg Abbott (R) won the re-election by 11 points over O’Rourke. The GOP is also boosted by the increased support in South Texas.
Republicans claim they also have an issue edge heading into the cycle of 2024, because the two most important issues in the state are the border and economy.
One Texas-based Republican Strategist said that “the two most important topics in Texas” are “and not much more.”
“He has a math issue in the state and he has an issue problem, when two-thirds say border and economy. “I’m trying see what his issue will be, other than Ted relentlessly attacking him,” the strategist said. “Ted’s actions would have to be Cancun-like to create a snowball.” I don’t think he will fall for a trap of that kind.
Cruz’s team is already making a big deal about Allred’s support for Biden and his record. They claim he’s not the moderate that he tries to portray himself as. Allred’s supporters are quick to point out that he was one of the very few members who had been endorsed by both the AFL-CIO as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the recent cycle.
Democrats in Texas recognize that they have more than just a border problem. They also have a problem when it comes to how they speak about the issue. They say that changing this is essential to fix their political problems in Texas.
We need to discuss the border. Immigration is not the same as border security. “We may think of the two issues as connected, but voters see them as separate. We can’t ignore the border, and we cannot pivot to immigration without addressing the border,” says Ed Espinoza an Austin-based Democratic activist.
Espinoza said, “If we can’t find a way to talk about border issues, we’ll see the same things we’ve always seen, and that’s not good.”