Tonight, Texas voters are weighing their options, stick with Senator Ted Cruz, or try his challenger Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
The two faced off in the first of three debates, before the midterm elections.
Each candidate looked to their base, threw out the red meat, and threw jabs at each other.
Newscenter 23’s political reporter Phil Prazan reports from Southern Methodist University.
Two men took the stage and brought two different worldviews.
Congressman Beto O’Rourke brought the progressive values, at times distancing himself from both political parties, and Senator Ted Cruz doubled down on a Christian, conservative outlook.
“We’re seeing nationally socialists, like Bernie Sanders, like Alexandria Ocasia Cortez, and in deed Congressman Beto O’Rourke advocating for those same policies.” Said Senator Ted Cruz.
Congressman O’Rourke leaned into the fight saying Senator Cruz used fear to mislead Texans, “I thought again there was a real clear contrast in the answers given. I think Senator Cruz has a tendency to mischaracterize a position.” Said representative Beto O’Rourke.
Cruz did not speak to the media directly after the debate.
“There was a clear opportunity for each of them to broaden the base.” SMU Expert Luisa Del Rosal said. She came into the debate thinking O’Rourke would talk to the middle. That did not happen.
“The advantage is Cruz because he’s here and he has the bigger conservative base. Beto had more to win and yet a lot more to lose as well.” Luisa Del Rosal continued.
What Texans saw tonight were two very confident and effective politicians. Both in their mid 40’s with two different examples of the future of this country.
In the weeks ahead, expect national money, politicians, and staff to come into Texas.
This race looks like it will be a proxy war for a very divided country.