Cruz, O'Rourke ignore political discourse over bomb packages during North Texas rallies

Both candidates in the hotly contested Texas Senate race made with their way to North Texas on Thursday.

But the blame game over the political climate and the bomb packages does not seem to be making its way into their list of topics to touch at their rallies.

Senator Ted Cruz campaigned in Arlington Thursday afternoon while Representative Beto O'Rourke traveled to Midlothian.

It's also as the latest poll shows O'Rourke still has ground to make up if he wants to give Cruz a run for his money.

Sprinkled among the Beto diehards and decked out in all sorts of apparel outside the Midlothian Convention Center are folks like Cary Palafox who is not wearing her vote on her sleeve.

“I'm definitely not a straight ticket voter,” she admitted. “I'm that annoying person that probably stands too long at the polls.”

It's folks like Palafox that O’Rourke has to woo.

With the latest polls showing O'Rourke trails Senator Ted Cruz five percent, a September Lipsos poll had O'Rourke ahead two percent. O'Rourke said he hopes to get some of those split ticket voters.

“I’m struck by how many people have told me regardless of their party or their voting history or who they picked for president in 2016 they are with us in this election,” the Democratic congressman said.

But SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson says that might be tough in this political climate.

“People are less and less likely to split their tickets in this day and age because we have such a polarized partisan climate,” Wilson said. “That’s what makes it a tough slog for him.”

And there has been no shortage of polarizing stories with less than two weeks until Election Day. A migrant caravan is slowly making its making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cruz, who was campaigning in Arlington, got a big applause with his tough response to the caravan.

“I told the president then what every Texan knows now which is under no circumstances should that caravan be allowed to cross into the state of Texas,” The incumbent senator said.

Wilson says many Republicans are seizing on the caravan story.

“That creates an image of lawlessness, which is exactly the message that Republicans have been trying to get across with regards to illegal immigration,” Wilson said.

But the political world has also been rocked by mail bombs sent to prominent Democratic figures this week. It fits in with a political rhetoric topic O'Rourke has harped on much of this campaign.

“Not only is it dangerous to the people who are threatened,” O’Rourke said. “It’s dangerous to the very fabric of our democracy and our ability to ensure that our institutions continue to work.”