Ted Cruz Backs Out of CNN Debate Giving Beto O’Rourke Entire Hour
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is refusing to participate in a CNN town hall debate with his opponent Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). His campaign initially accepted CNN's invitation but has since declined. With 29 days to go until the midterm elections, a RealClearPolitics poll shows Cruz edging out O’Rourke by an average of six points. Texas has not voted any Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. Cruz won the Senate seat handily by 16 points in 2012. Yet, narrowing the gap to just single digits shows O’Rourke has already pulled off a major political feat and victory is still possible. Both men have raised $23 million apiece in the most recent reporting period, with O’Rourke receiving much of his donations in small, individual amounts -- he has refused to take PAC money. Cruz is the personification of Tea Party Republican activism, while O’Rourke is running as an unabashed progressive. The path to victory will be dependent on the ground game. The average number of Republican votes in gubernatorial and midterm Senate races in 2010 and 2014 has been about 2.8 million, while the Democratic vote total in those races has been approximately 1.9 million. O’Rourke must motivate young voters and Democratic-leaning Latinos. Cruz’s campaign did not give a reason for why they backed out of the CNN debate in McAllen, Texas, on October 18th that will be hosted by Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash. The two competitors squared off in a September 21st debate and are expected to face off at least one more time in an October 16th debate in San Antonio. More here.