TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While Texas Democrats are energized by Beto O’Rourke’s run for U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Ted Cruz received more than double the votes in the Texas primary.
With 99.95 percent precincts reporting, the Texas Secretary of State says Cruz received 1,317,450 votes or 85% of the vote in the GOP primary.
O’Rourke, a Congressman from El Paso, received 641,324 votes or 62 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. Now that the primaries are over, it didn’t take long for both candidates to contrast their positions on the majors facing Texas and the rest of the country.
Senator Cruz said, “He is for amnesty and open borders, I’m for securing the border, passing Kate’s law and stopping illegal immigration. He is for gun control and undermining the rights of law abiding Texans to own firearms. I am a strong and passionate defender of the Second Amendment. he is for Obamacare and high taxes and high regulations.”
Rep. O’Rourke said, “We should be leading the way on immigration reform, not being the sole Senator as Ted Cruz was, to turn his back on Texas and his opportunity to lead on an issue that we know better than anyone else better than any other part of the country. I want to make sure Texas goes from being the least insured state in the country to leading the way to make sure that every single American can see a doctor or provider or afford their medication… We have a great tradition and culure of gun ownership and gun safety for hunting, for sport, for self-defense. I think that can allow Texas to take the lead on a really tough issue.”
SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson say O’Rourke exceeded expectations when it comes to fundraising and attracting crowds in his primary. “He is the most exciting, most credible, best-funded Democrat in Texas this year.”
But Jillson says Cruz is a proven fundraiser and a strong campaigner, and while O’Rourke has generated some national attention and raised a lot of money, it may not be enough.
“He’s got enough money also to be advertising, but whether or not he can go toe to toe with Cruz at $2, $3, $4 million a week down the stretch of a general election, very much remains to be seen.”
While in Dallas recently, O’Rourke revealed to me there is still one potential supporter he’s trying to convince. “My mom is a Republican. I know she loves this country every bit as I do.”
When asked if his mom would be voting for him, O’Rouke said, “We’ve almost got her convinced to vote for us in this election.”
On Wednesday, an O’Rourke campaign spokesman told me that O’Rourke’s mom did vote for him the Democratic primary. The question is, will she vote for him in the general election?
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