A recent poll shows Ted Cruz tied with not just one but TWO Democratic challengers! I know. We’ve gotten our hopes up before and seen them crushed. Cycle after cycle we are tantalized with the notion of Texas finally, if not going blue at least turning purple. Then an election comes and if anything it gets brighter red. Still, now and then there are signs of a “spot” win, such as when Beto O’Rourke gave Ted Cruz a run for his money. Cruz only beat back that challenge by a couple hundred thousand votes and in Texas that’s not a huge margin.

Even Cruz’s fellow GOP Senators don’t like him and wish he were gone and that someone would take him out in a primary. Well, that hasn’t happened and unless there’s a serious challenger I’m not aware of no Republican is going to primary Cruz out of office this year either. However, Democrats have several good candidates running for Cruz’s seat and Newsweek reports polling showing two of them are tied with Cruz in a head-to-head matchup in November! Again, it’s only January and in politics the time frame between now and November is a lifetime. Still, we face a tough fight to retain control of the Senate and we already know we will lose a seat in WV and several others are in serious danger. That means not only holding ground but flipping some seats.

If you’ve read this far, I can imagine you saying details Denis, give us some details! Well, here we go. The poll in question was done by Emerson which is a respected outlet. It was released yesterday and here’s what you are most interested in knowing – from Newsweek:

The survey, released Thursday by Emerson College, found Cruz polling at 42 percent among likely voters in a hypothetical matchup with U.S. Representative Colin Allred, who had 40 percent support. In a matchup with Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, 41 percent said they would vote for Cruz and 40 percent said Gutierrez.

Even the best polls still have a two to four percent margin of error so that means Cruz is in a statistical tie with not one but two Democrats. You don’t think that has Cruz (not to mention McConnel) freaking out? This is before he’s only got to face one challenger who will have all manner of issues and things to hammer Cruz on. For example, I’m sure you recall when so much of Texas was in a deep freeze when the power grid broke down – because Texas GOPers refuse to take part in a sharing arrangement with other states. Ole  “Cancun Cruz” jetted off to a well known, sunny Mexican vacation destination. To add insult to injury he even tweeted to his fellow Texans to stay home and try to stay warm! I for one am willing to bet during that time at least several hundred thousand Texans regretted voting for Cruz. And thought “You know, if Democrats come up with a good opponent I would actually (horrors) vote for a Democrat!” (not that they’d tell anyone but who cares?)

I took a time out from writing this to talk with my niece who’s a transplanted Texan. She’s as liberal as they come and like me she’s frustrated that every time we think we’ll have a breakthrough in Texas it never happens. She wasn’t aware of the poll I’m writing about and she was excited. She agreed with me mentioned the whole Charlie and Lucy and the football thing and that we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high. However it seems she really thinks Allred is a great candidate. Has even met him so if she says he’s the real deal I’m ok with giving him a plug here. Still, he’s not the nominee. As the Newsweek piece states:

This year, three Democrats are gunning for the party’s nomination in Texas. Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez is also running. The Thursday poll found Allred to be the most popular candidate among Democratic primary voters, with 29 percent support, followed by Gutierrez at 7 percent and Gonzalez at 6 percent. However, 37 percent said they are undecided ahead of the March 5 primary.

While at first glance it seems Allred is in the driver’s seat I should point out that if Gutierrez seems a little familiar there’s a reason. If you’ve followed the mass shooting in Uvalde you’ve seen him as the town is in his district. So, even though he’s a state legislator he’s got something of a national profile. Given the DOJ’s scathing report on that tragedy that was released yesterday it’s a safe bet his profile will be raised and the primary could become a lot more competitive. The important thing is that unless the candidates start trashing each other Democrats will field a strong candidate that Cruz will have to worry about.

Maybe, just maybe we can finally get a breakthrough in a statewide Texas race. I believe that once that dam is broken we’ll see more and more Democrats getting elected to both state and federal offices in our nation’s second largest state. No, it’s not going to turn blue. Let’s be clear about that. Right now I’d be content if it turned a light shade of purple. And beating Ted Cruz, the most hated person in the Senate (I’ll bet when he wakes up in the dead of night even Ted Cruz hates Ted Cruz) could be that crucial chunk of concrete breaking from the dam of GOP domination of Texas.

If you think I’m kidding about even fellow GOPers hating Cruz check out this link. It’s entertaining as hell to read what even fellow Republicans including Senators have had to say about Cruz. He’s lucky he’s a Senator. Sure, the old days are gone but some of the old-school traditions still exist. McConnell has probably ached to recruit someone to take Cruz out in the primary but that sort of thing simply isn’t done. Not even now when so many other traditional courtesies have been obliterated.  If you want to smile today click on that link in the first line of this paragraph. Trust me when I say it’s the polite (because the comments were on the record) version of what most Republicans think of Cruz.

As I said, we are going to have to flip at least one seat in the Senate because we are for sure losing at least one. Anyone who’s read this would love to see Cruz humiliated at the ballot box come November even if we were in solid control. Seeing he might truly be vulnerable again (remember what I said about last time and subsequent buyer’s remorse), it could actually happen this time.

How sweet would it be if Ted freaking Cruz losing turned out to be the reason Democrats still control the Senate?

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  1. Who were the poll respondents? Registered voters, or likely voters? Age demographic, and how was the poll conducted? Land line or cell phone?

  2. I sent money to both allred and Gutierrez. I think they both have a chance. I hope the national donors find out that this is a winnable race.

  3. Shouldn’t we establish he’s a real human being first rather than a replicant reject? Where’s his official birth certificate or manufacturer number?


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