DALLAS - The final hours of the hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Texas saw both candidates meeting with as many supporters as possible and imploring them to get out and vote.
Incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz made a final push in the Houston area while Rep. Beto O’Rourke campaigned in Dallas and El Paso. A series of recent polls showed the race tightening in the final week, with Cruz holding a slim lead over O’Rourke.
Both men agree on one thing -- voter turnout will determine who wins the race. Cruz has held 48 town halls and rallies over the past six weeks, while O'Rourke believes his statewide campaign will get him elected.
O’Rourke was greeted by a crowd of over 2,000 supporters in Dallas on Monday afternoon.
“We have the chance of our lifetimes to decide the election of our lifetime here in the state of Texas and we're going to do it together -- all of us,” O’Rourke said. “We will not be known for pettiness and meanness that defines so much of the national conversation right now. That's not us, not people of Dallas or Texas.”
Meanwhile in Houston, Cruz urged his supporters to take at least five people to the poll Tuesday to vote in what has become one of the most watched political races in the country.
“Jobs are on the ballot tomorrow. Tell you what else is on the ballot – freedom,” Cruz said.
More than 4.8 million ballots were cast during early voting in Texas, surpassing the total turnout for the 2014 midterms.
In an analysis of early voting numbers, Target Smart found that more than 200,000 people early voted for the first time in Texas. The number of Hispanic voters has also increased by more than 200 percent since 2014.
O’Rourke thinks those numbers mean he could pull off the upset on Tuesday night.
“If people turning out at the rates that we've seen I'm confident that we will win,” O’Rourke said.
Cruz said Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state and it’s up to conservatives to show up and win.
“We know the far left is angry coming after jobs, freedom and security but if we value it we have to stand up and defend it,” Cruz said.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 7 p.m.