Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Let the Senatorial Games Begin, Part V: Will Cruz Cruise in Texas?

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) got an opponent for his reelection bid. It's Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), who has been prepping a run for months, and who made it official with a Monday afternoon announcement.

Allred is, in many ways, Cruz's nightmare opponent. He's Black, charismatic, and an excellent public speaker. He played college football in Texas (Baylor) and pro football in relatively nearby Tennessee. He is well connected in Democratic circles, having served in the Obama administration and on former speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership team. He is a prodigious fundraiser. And he first got to Congress by unseating an entrenched Republican.

Could Cruz actually be in danger, though? After all, Texas has failed to live up to its supposed blue shift so many times, it's become a cliché. That said, Cruz won his first Senate race by 16 points, but his second (against Beto O'Rourke, of course) by just 2.6 points. So, the trendlines aren't great for the Senator, to the extent that you can make a trendline out of two data points. Since the O'Rourke election, Cruz has moved further right and has been involved in a number of high-profile missteps (e.g., Cancun). Also, in contrast to his previous elections, he'll be violating his two-terms-and-done pledge this time. And it's a presidential year, which tends to favor Democrats, whereas Cruz vs. O'Rourke was a midterm year, which tends to favor Republicans.

At the moment, Cook and Inside Elections have the Texas race as "Solid R" while Sabato has it as "Likely R." We think that was really too generous to Cruz, given his 2018 result, even before Allred got into the race. And now, well, let's see how Allred performs under a much larger microscope. If he stands up to the scrutiny, this one could get very interesting, indeed.

As a reminder, a run-down of all the Senate races can be found using the "Click for Senate" link in the blue bar above the map. (Z)

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