Cruz, O'Rourke face off in first debate

Glen Norman
September 22, 2018

Representative Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign rally in Plano, Texas, Sept. 15, 2018.

On Twitter, both candidates' names trended as "Ted Cruz" tweets in the USA topped out at just shy of 70,000, while "Beto" tweets got to 132,000.

The poll, which was composed among a population of 992 adults, had a credibility interval of four percentage points. However, a recent Reuters poll showed O'Rourke two points ahead of Cruz. Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988.

Cruz and O'Rourke are facing each other in a surprisingly competitive US Senate race in Texas, a Republican stronghold.

The UVA poll also revealed that Hispanic voters supported O'Rourke over Cruz by a ratio of about 2-to-1.

So why such a big difference in these two polls?

Jeffers asked Cruz why he criticized O'Rourke for jumping to conclusions about Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, who is accused of fatally shooting a black man in his apartment after she mistook it for her own unit in the same building.

O'Rourke went first and noted that both he and Cruz have small children - and it's tough to leave them to do their jobs.

Cruz responded that he does not "intend to get into Congressman O'Rourke's personal history, but I will keep the focus on issues and substance" - and pointed to legislation that O'Rourke supported that Cruz said would make it easier for people with drug convictions to get driver's licenses.

Mr. O'Rourke claimed things like "universal background checks" would make schools and other places "demonstrably safer", before chiding Mr. Cruz that "thoughts and prayers are not going to cut it".

He also slammed Cruz for supporting Trump's trade policies, which he said have negatively impacted the Texas economy.

"I'll tell you, it's a troubling pattern", Cruz said.

President Trump will visit Texas in October to stump for Cruz.

The candidates will also debate on September 30 at the University of Houston and on October 16 in San Antonio. O'Rourke drew laughs by replying simply of Cruz: "True to form".

"We need a junior senator who will stand up to this president", O'Rourke said.

Asked Friday about Trump's 2016 criticism, which included making fun of Cruz's wife's appearance and suggesting that his Cuban-born father had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Cruz said, "I could have chosen to make it about myself", but instead he said he worked with Trump to further Texas interests.

Women are divided as 50 percent back Cruz and 48 percent back O'Rourke.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article