Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) is hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2018 close call with a Democratic challenger as he prepares for a potential election challenge from Democratic Rep. Colin Allred (Texas) in what is expected to become one of the most expensive races on the Senate map.
Democrats hope the race becomes a rare competitive contest for a GOP-led seat.
But Cruz, a two-term conservative incumbent seeking to erase his narrow victory in 2018 by making the drawn-out fight the exception and not the rule
Cruz expressed being “very confident” in the 2024 Senate election, according to reporting by The Hill.
Cruz shared his expectation that Democrats would be spending “$100 million in nasty attack ads because today’s Democratic Party is angry” and want to express their rage.
However, he suggested he wouldn’t be fazed by such attacks as he’d “keep the race about [his] substantive records and… vision for the state.”
Fortunately for Cruz, the situation has changed dramatically from 2018 to this cycle.
At the start of his first reelection campaign, Cruz was fresh off the 2016 presidential election and a high-profile war with former President Donald Trump, all of which put him on the back foot in Texas.
Polling shows the improvement.
According to tracking of Cruz’s approval rating by the University of Texas, the Republican has a 45 percent job approval rating, which has remained relatively unchanged during his second season. However, during the 2018 cycle, after being mired by the Trump Battle, Cruz hovered between 38 and 40 percent.
He also had a uniquely strong opponent that year in the then-Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), who banked on a message of unity, anti-Cruz sentiment among Democrats and independents, and unmatched fundraising skills to create a perfect storm against the Texas senator.
Cruz survived but won the race with a less than three percentage point lead.