Why Beto O'Rourke's Primary Win Doesn't Bode Well for Unseating Ted Cruz

WASHINGTON — El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke may have quickly clinched the nomination to become Ted Cruz’s Senate challenger this fall, but it was far from a clean sweep.On Tuesday, O’Rourke won just 62 percent of the Democratic vote, while one of his lesser known challengers — Houston progressive Sema Hernandez — not only garnered nearly a quarter of the vote share, but captured dozens of border counties.Some political analysts say that should give O’Rourke heartburn and shows he has work to do in winning over Hispanic voters and raising his name ID, especially against the universally known Republican incumbent.Others point out that the results aren’t surprising at this point in the race, and that of the things O’Rourke should worry about as he faces off with the Republican powerhouse, primary results aren’t top of the list.In an interview with NPR early Wednesday, O’Rourke shrugged off the potential implications of his two-thirds showing, saying it's a stepping stone in a “24-month campaign strategy” and reflects the realities of competing in a sprawling state with 254 counties.“It’s going to take a lot of time to listen to everyone and work with everyone, and I think you just need to watch us over the next eight months,” he said. “The test will be on Nov. 6.”Cruz — who sailed to victory with 85 percent of the vote — took to Twitter on Wednesday to point out that stark differences between his support and O’Rourke’s. Despite Democrats setting records in early voting, far more Republican voters came to the polls, with 1.3 million of them voting for Cruz, compared to 641,000 Democrats who cast ballots for O’Rourke.“In Texas last night we had a strong turnout for conservatives. I was very gratified to win over 85 percent of the vote, to win 1.3 million votes, which is more than double what my Democratic opponent got,” tweeted Cruz, who kicked off his general election with a scathing rebuke of O’Rourke that included a country music jingle that portrayed him as liberal who wants to take Texans’ guns.  Continue reading...

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