This, in short, is how O’Rourke plans to pull off his long-shot bid to take away Cruz’s Senate seat: by outhustling his opponent. O’Rourke, a third-term congressman, often boasts that he has hired no consultants or pollsters. He is his own strategist, and his strategy is simple: campaign relentlessly, project vitality and hope his raw charisma combines in just the right proportion with anti-Cruz animus, Texas’ changing demographics and national Democratic momentum to put him over the top.
It’s a lot to hope for. Cruz is among the country’s shrewdest politicians. He may be reviled in Washington and on the left, but his approval rating remains above water in most polls of Texas, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. Liberals have been fantasizing about turning the state blue for a decade, to no avail. And Cruz retains a double-digit lead in recent polls.
But something is catching here. Fueled by millions in small-dollar donations, O’Rourke is outraising Cruz. In recent weeks, President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant families detained at the border has given his campaign a jolt of moral clarity. And voters are responding in a way that Texas Democrats say they have not seen before in modern times.
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