Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Rafael (Ted) Cruz justifies mocking Robert (Beto) O'Rourke's name


With a quick photo response that leaned more cute than cutting, Mr. O'Rourke may be able to defuse any lasting effect of Mr. Cruz's approach. "Talk to every Texan in every part of the state".

The Texas primary results were closely watched around the country.

Ted Cruz slayed the Texas Republican establishment in 2012 with his Senate win, took Washington by storm as its leading conservative flamethrower and finished second only to Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Democrats, meanwhile, almost doubled their numbers from four years ago behind big increases around Dallas and Houston, but the GOP still had the upper hand in rural and suburban counties. Total Democratic early votes exceeded Republican ones roughly 465,000 to 420,000, though those figures combined accounted for less than 9 percent of the state's total registered voters. Hogan, who ran for the seat as a Democrat last time around, won several counties around Laredo - including Webb, Starr and Cameron counties.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, known for his bombastic social media presence, dislike of Nutella and signature cowboy hat - beat out two challengers to avoid a runoff Tuesday.

It was the same case with former Gov. Ann Richards' 1994 re-election bid, when she faced Gary Espinosa in the Democratic primary.

Texas Democrats haven't voted at this rate in a midterm in 16 years, and we need to keep up this excitement through November.

A big problem for Texas Democrats is that their biggest-name politicians opted not to run in statewide races.

Texas voted on Tuesday, and the state is still very much red.

The progressive and establishment wings of the Democratic party are still going toe-to-toe.

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Meanwhile, Republicans took a victory lap on Wednesday over O'Rourke's showing, with a spokesman from the Republican National Committee issuing a statement to point out that "even disastrous candidate Wendy Davis got 78 percent" in her 2014 gubernatorial primary.

"It's Trump. It's Trump", said Veronica Escobar, who won her Democratic primary and is now poised to become one of the first Hispanic women to represent Texas in Congress.

In an interview with NPR early Wednesday, O'Rourke shrugged off the potential implications of his two-thirds showing, saying it's a stepping stone in a "24-month campaign strategy" and reflects the realities of competing in a sprawling state with 254 counties.

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