TEXAS (CBSNEWS.COM) – Tomorrow the polls will open for the midterm elections, and 470 congressional seats will be up for grabs. One of the most surprisingly competitive races has been unfolding in Texas.

The Senate election pitting incumbent Ted Cruz in the red corner, against challenger Beto O’Rourke in the blue corner, represents more than just gripping political theater, a clash of big personalities, and record-setting fundraising.

On the surface, the candidates have plenty in common: two Texans a year apart in age who left the state for Ivy League schools before returning. They were even elected to Congress the same day six years ago. But in this divided cultural and political moment, Cruz-O’Rourke has become a national barometer for American politics, in the unlikeliest of places.

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