Cruz Opens Up a Lead in Texas Senate Race

The Story:

Senator Ted Cruz (R – TX) has pulled in front of his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, who represents El Paso in the US House of Representatives. On the day of the last scheduled debate between the two men, October 16, polls showed Cruz leading 52% to 45% among likely voters.

Background:

Ted Cruz was the most formidable of Donald Trump’s opponents for the Republican Party’s nomination for the Presidency in 2016. Cruz won twelve states in the primary process, earning 559 delegates. In the context of that campaign, Trump invented the nickname “Lyin’ Ted” for Cruz. There were memorable exchanges during the campaign, too, about Cruz’ wife, Heidi, especially after Trump retweeted an unflattering photo of her.

Despite their clashes during the campaign, the two men have been closely allied since, and Trump explicitly supports Cruz against O’Rourke.

The Thing to Know:

At the debate on October 16, Cruz accused O’Rourke of supporting a $10 a barrel tax on crude oil. O’Rourke replied heatedly, invoking Trump’s use of the phrase “Lyin’ Ted,” saying that the tag has stuck because it is true.

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