The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Republicans no longer view Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a safe bet to win re-election in November.

As his Democratic challenger, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, continues to tour the state one county at a time and rake in small-donor contributions to a campaign that he proudly states takes no money from corporate PACs, polls have increasingly shown a tight race; although no poll so far has given O’Rourke the lead, several are within the margin of error, with a new Emerson College poll putting the race with 1 point.

And amid growing worry, at least one dark money group is stepping in to help him, Politico reports:

The Club for Growth, a Washington-based anti-tax group, is drawing up plans for a major TV ad campaign boosting Cruz — the first such intervention by a Republican outside group in this race. The move comes as Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an online fundraising behemoth who has attracted national support, continues to narrow the gap in polling.

David McIntosh, the Club for Growth’s president, said on Tuesday the organization is planning a seven-figure-plus offensive targeting O’Rourke. McIntosh was speaking from Texas, where he is meeting with pro-Cruz donors who could help fund the effort.

“In the last five weeks, it’s become clear that the race has tightened,” said McIntosh.

The Club for Growth’s ad buy would be the first major GOP investment in the Texas race. The group had previously spent over $6 million to support his first run in 2012.

Democrats have not won any statewide race in Texas since 1994  the longest dry spell of any state. While the Lone Star State has a huge minority population, it also has one of the poorest voter turnout rates in the country, and the voters who do turn up are consistently older, whiter, and more Republican than the state as a whole.

But Cruz, one of the most partisan and most polarizing figures in the Senate, finds himself uniquely vulnerable. In addition to tepid approval ratings, he has not run a sharply focused campaign. He falsely claimed O’Rourke wants to legalize heroin, mocked him for using his childhood nickname, and complained about his viral video defending NFL players’ right to protest for black civil rights. Cruz’s campaign spokeswoman at one point referred to O’Rourke as a “Triple Meat Whataburger Liberal,” a bizarre and cryptic reference to a menu item at a popular Texas fast food chain. If polls are an indication, none of this seems to be budging the race in his favor.

It is little wonder that some Republicans fear it may be necessary to pull out the big guns to fight for Texas.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

Image via YouTube

The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Keep reading... Show less

Mehmet Oz

Youtube Screenshot

Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, gave a confusing response about veterans' health care during an interview with a Pittsburgh radio station last week.

The station 90.5 WESA asked Oz about the PACT Act, which expands health care coverage for veterans exposed to toxins in the course of their service. The interview took place a few hours before recalcitrant Senate Republicans finally agreed to support the legislation.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}