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Republican Senate Run-Off: A Fight To The Finish

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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(CBSDFW.COM) – The Republican run-off for the soon to be vacated U.S. Senate seat in Texas has become a fight between the state’s Republican political establishment and the Republican grassroots.

On one side are the political heavyweights, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Texas’ top Republican, Governor Rick Perry.

On the other side, political newcomer and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz along with another favorite of the grassroots, former vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Now, a new public policy polling survey shows Cruz has widened his lead over Dewhurst from two weeks ago from 52 to 42 percent.

In Dallas Monday afternoon, Dewhurst and Perry called supporters to get them to the polls Tuesday.

Dewhurst insists he’s upbeat.  He said, “I think this is going to be a decisive victory.  There are a lot more Dewhurst voters in the state of Texas than there are Cruz voters.”

But Cruz believes support from the Tea Party will land a big political blow against the establishment. Cruz said at a rally in The Woodlands Friday, “We have millions of conservatives saying we are fed up with the same tired establishment incumbents who don’t believe a darn thing.”

Political analyst John Weekley says if Cruz beats Dewhurst, it would be a giant upset.  Weekley says, “The Texas landscape as people have seen it is going to change significantly if Cruz does in fact win.”

To help Cruz win, Palin went to The Woodlands Friday to rally supporters.  “Ted is a proven common sense constitutional conservative. He’s a fighter and he will bring new leadership to the U.S. Senate.”

But Governor Perry credited Dewhurst with helping him make Texas a success, and warned Texans they need to make the right decision.  Perry said, “We’re just trying to stand up and say we know David Dewhurst. David has been a committed conservative in a host of areas for the last decade. He is a proven entity.”

Cruz has come a long way.  A year ago, few people heard of him.

Now, this race is being watched closely nationwide.

Follow jack on twitter:  @cbs11jack

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