As a lifelong Texan living in the Austin area, I keep a close eye on the politics of my state — which isn’t always easy being a progressive in a fairly red state run by backwards thinking conservatives.
Still, this state is not as “lost” as many might think. In fact, it’s much closer to being a “swing state” than most people realize. With more and more liberals moving here (yes, that’s happening believe it or not), and an ever-increasing Latino population, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that in the very near future Democrats could start winning some major elections in the Lone Star State.
Sen. Ted Cruz should be well aware of that possibility, especially after news that his challenger, Beto O’Rourke, raised a rather large sum of money recently.
As reported by the Texas Tribune:
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign, a staggering number that poses a new category of threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.
The haul is easily O’Rourke’s biggest fundraising quarter yet, more than double his next-closest total for a three-month period. It also is more than any Democratic Senate candidate nationwide took in last quarter, O’Rourke’s campaign said.
The Tribune also reports that his donations came from a “record-busting 141,000 contributors.”
While there’s still a long way to go, and Cruz has a massive advantage being an incumbent Republican in a red state, O’Rourke’s fundraising is a sign that, even in conservative strongholds such as Texas, progressives are motivated, active, and doing their best to spread the “blue wave” all over the country this November.
I’m not going to go as far as to say that Cruz’s job is in serious jeopardy (at least not yet), but I will say that driving around Austin (which is admittedly a very progressive city), I see “BETO” signs in a lot of people’s yards.
Yet I don’t see the same sort of support for Cruz.
I’ve always been a realistic optimist. I hope for the best, and I’ll bust my butt trying to win, but I’m always grounded by facts, common sense, and simple reality.
For O’Rourke to win would require one of the biggest political upsets in modern history. He’s a great candidate, and someone who I think would do wonders for Texas, progressives, and this country as a whole, but it’s still going to be incredibly difficult to unseat a Republican in this state.
That said — it can be done.
Like with most elections, if Democrats turn out to vote in the numbers they’re capable of, any Republican politician can be defeated. Especially someone like Cruz who’s loathed by a good deal of Republicans, too.
Progressives need to stay focused, motivated, energized and, most importantly VOTE!
I know things seem bleak now with Donald Trump in the White House, and Republicans in control of Congress, but all hope is not lost. If we show up to vote this November in the numbers I know we’re capable of, we can bring positive change to this country and finally install a government that will hold this “president” accountable.
So, while I’m not saying Sen. Ted Cruz stands a high chance of losing this Fall — he definitely needs to be worried.
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