Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore)
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Gage Skidmore

Cruz, O’Rourke race still too close to call

Cruz to visit Wichita Falls Oct. 3

September 26, 2018

The scene was Southern Methodist University on Sept. 21. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) promoted their positions on a platform while giving an opposing statements toward one another. The scenes of the debate show other states’ interest in this Texas election.

Cruz is running for re-election for a second term against O’Rourke for the Senate position in Texas. O’Rourke and Cruz will be participating in a series of three debates before election day, Nov. 8. The first debate was Sept. 21, the second will be held Sept. 30 in Houston and the third will be held in San Antonio Oct. 16, all of which have the discussion topic of domestic issues.

In the previous 2012 election, Cruz defeated democratic candidate, Paul Sadler replacing then-senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Ipsos online polls regarding the election between O’Rourke and Cruz show the two candidates are in a deadlock.

Debate watch party.
Postponed — as has debate.

Henry Steele, student democratic president and mechanical engineering junior, said O’Rourke is making the race race for Senate a rather competitive one.

“Beto’s a great candidate,” Steele said. “When you look at the people that won [elections], they won because they’re great, credible candidates due to their connection with the people. When you see Beto O’Rourke at a rally, he is charismatic and he relates to all Texans. People are tired of being represented by people who only serve the interest of multinational corporations. It is refreshing to see a candidate that does not take any PAC money, who is out there to listen and travel to every county in Texas, in addition to not being super-partisan.”

Bryce Martin, political science junior, said Texas’s changing demographics is the result of the sudden democratic turnout.

“Over time, the demographics have changed in Texas,” Martin said. “You have a lot of people moving to Texas from blue states because Texas does not have state income tax. That is a big deal.”

Laramie Walton, political science senior, said she is intrigued by the upcoming Texas Senate election.

“It’s very interesting and surprising,” Walton said.

Warren McDonald, mechanical engineering junior, said the upcoming debates will play a significant part to the election.

“I think it’s [the election] a deadlock,” McDonald said. “The three debates between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke will play a huge part in determining the winner. To me, Ted Cruz’s political career is on the line if he does not perform well in the debates. However, I do think that he is a fantastic debater and will give Beto a difficult time.”

Martin said Cruz and U.S. President Donald Trump will make amends despite the attacks they made one and another.

“They’re both smart guys,” Martin said. “They’re going to make amends because it is what is best for the republican party. I think Donald Trump is not taking any chances and is thinking to himself, ‘If we lose the Senate seat in Texas, the democrats are that much closer to taking control in Texas’. Trump wants to continue his agenda with bills to make the changes he wants in American politics. He needs Ted Cruz in his corner and won’t take any chances.”

Taylor McCreary, business management senior, said transparency is what sways her toward a candidate.

“I think the biggest factor for me is transparency because if someone is being genuine with me and telling me the truth as to how they’re feeling and what their positions are on a platform, that intrigues me more than putting a fake front,” McCreary said.

McCreary said education is the top priority in regards to the more important issues facing the nation.

“Education is a big problem,” McCreary said. “We need more funding for our schools to have a better education. In Texas, we’re top three of the worst education [systems] in the country. As a state, we’re really behind. We need someone to come in and make a 180 change to the educational system in Texas.”

Steve Garrison, chair of the political science department, said students should vote because they have a stake in this election.

“Regardless if you vote Republican or Democrat, the biggest reason for any young person to vote in this day of age is if you get your bill for tuition and realize how expensive how it is,” Garrison said. “Because young people don’t regularly vote, it is easy for legislators to cut funding from higher education.”

Hebert McCullough, political science graduate, said immigration and healthcare are the issues which will be the driving force for most voters in this election.

“For a lot of Republicans, the key issue is immigration,” McCullough said. “Texas has a large population of undocumented immigrants and a lot of undocumented immigrants live in a border town so they’re nervous about border security. They [undocumented immigrants] want to make sure they’re safe from border security. Healthcare is a close second because the current Texas government refuses to expand the Affordable Care Act resulting in a lot of Texans being left out and uninsured.”

In a sample from the Wichitan’s Twitter poll, O’Rourke reigns over Cruz 65-35.

The last day to register to vote is Oct. 8, the first day of early voting by personal appearance is Oct. 22 and election day is Nov. 6.

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