Every campaign has its defining moments.
In the nail-biter between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke, it’s too soon to know which of the debate quips, attack ads and viral videos made the difference.
There were many ingredients in this epic battle between a tea party darling who was runner-up for the presidential nomination and a charismatic and unabashedly liberal congressman who managed to put a scare into Republicans in a state they’ve controlled for a quarter century, smashing the record for money raised by any Senate candidate ever, anywhere.
“I’m just amazed that this race is as close as it is,” said Randy Chambers, 59, a Cruz supporter who owns a business in Granbury.
Hardly any voters beyond the western tip of Texas had heard of O’Rourke.
Cruz, by contrast, had a national reputation as a conservative champion who didn’t mind ruffling feathers. Engineering a government shutdown will do that.
Texas Republicans seethed when he refused to embrace Donald Trump at the party’s 2016 convention. The explicit endorsement would wait three months, though they’ve been closely allied ever since.
As for O’Rourke, he was so obscure two years ago that most Texas Democrats figured they’d send Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio to challenge their bête noire.
Two weeks before jumping into the race in March 2017, O’Rourke made a huge leap in renown thanks to a snowstorm that socked in the East Coast.
He and Rep. Will Hurd, a San Antonio Republican, stranded 1,600 miles from the Capitol, rented a Chevy Impala and embarked on a 36-hour road trip broadcast live on Facebook — a technique O’Rourke has employed throughout this campaign.
The show of civility amid the rancor of Washington drew national attention.
"He's so inspirational. You can tell he really cares. He's just a good person,” said retiree Billie Williams, who went to hear O'Rourke in Lewisville on Friday. She sees him making history, because he’s all about "uniting people.”
The road trip nurtured an image of an affable post-partisan figure that Cruz would spend the rest of the campaign working to dismantle.
Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/11/04/trump-ellen-debate-quips-tent-campsdefining-moments-ted-cruz-beto-orourke-contest