McKINNEY, Texas - With less than three months away from Election Day, the race between U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke is tight.
The El Paso representative has been busy making visits across the state. But now the senator is having to fight to keep his seat.
Senator Ted Cruz met standing-room-only crowds while campaigning in North Texas on Tuesday.
The Republican candidate in the race for the U.S. Senate was at The Pantry in McKinney around 10:30 a.m. Speaking to a packed room of supporters, Cruz got right to the point.
“Elections are about choices,” he said. “If you want a big government, gun-grabbing liberal, the Democrats have given you one.”
Cruz was referring to his Democratic challenger. Recent polls show O’Rourke has been gaining on Cruz. One poll shows the candidates in a statistical tie. Funding for the Democrat continues to pour in.
“He is the number 1 Democratic fundraiser in the country, and he's outraising our campaign,” Cruz said.
Cruz told the crowd what he has been emphasizing in fundraising mailers that Democrats are angry and energized, adding that he has a real fight on his hands with O'Rourke.
O’Rourke held his own rally in Richardson at the very same time as Cruz.
“I will make sure that, as your Senator, we always find a way to work with anyone, anytime, anywhere on the issues that are most important to us as a country,” O’Rourke said.
The El Paso congressman will be at DeSoto High School Tuesday evening. Monday night, O’Rourke opened a campaign headquarters in the Red Bird area of Dallas.
O’Rourke said he’s going to launch an extensive statewide TV ad campaign to only include positive messages. It comes in response to ads from Cruz’s campaign in which the senator attacked O’Rourke for being too liberal for Texas.
“Politically, our task is simple,” Cruz said. “We’ve got to make sure that freedom-loving Texans who want to see more jobs and more freedom and more opportunity show up and vote. And if we do, then Texas will stay bright red.”
Cruz's supporters say they're ready to do their part.
“I don't think that it’s going to be a huge challenge,” Kristi Lisenbee said. “But I do think that we need to get out the vote.”
“With all of the people moving in from blue states, we need to make sure we get the registered Republicans out to vote,” said Ted Puchacz.
Cruz is urging his younger, Republican voters to use social media to help energize the base. In the coming weeks, Cruz says his campaign will release new ads focused on issues like border security and tax reform.
“The good news is there’s a lot more conservatives than liberals in Texas,” the senator said.
Cruz has agreed to debate O'Rouke five times. The first one is set to take place in Dallas. A date and time has not been set.
Cruz believes the debates will show he's better fit to continue representing Texans in the senate.