This was arguably the wildest Senate race in history. It was definitely the most expensive. Early results were showing Beto O’Rourke with a surprising lead with as many as 60% of the precincts reporting, causing many Republicans to sweat over the deep red Texas Senate seat.
But when the last half of the precincts reported, Cruz survived.
O’Rourke ran a non-conventional campaign, leaning heavily on social media spending and pulling in dozens of high-profile endorsements from outside of Texas. But his messages of gun control and pro-abortion stances were just too far to the left for the state. He was a rockstar to young people and a breath of hope for longtime Democrats who never expected a chance to ever flip the seat. They may have to wait much longer.
What does this say about Cruz? He should have been a slam dunk, but was proven much more vulnerable than anyone anticipated a year ago. Most of that can be attributed to O’Rourke’s popularity. He’s young, attractive, and generally seems like a nice guy. Cruz was also damaged by the war he had with President Trump during the 2016 primary race for the GOP presidential nomination.
This shows that outside money is enough to nearly buy an election for the Democrats. Republicans must learn from this close call and strive to do better with other similar races in the future.