Speed Reads

Texas senate race

Ted Cruz's Democratic Senate opponent just outraised him by $1.5 million

Texas is a deep red state, but it might not be quite so deep and red as you might think. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the punk rock Democrat threatening Sen. Ted Cruz's (R) Senate seat, has outraised the incumbent by $1.5 million since the beginning of the year. O'Rourke's surprising strength has tipped Texas' Senate race from being "solid Republican" in CNN's analysis of the midterm races to a softer "likely Republican," like Tennessee.

Texans have expressed some dissatisfaction with President Trump, with just 39 percent saying they approved of the job he did his first year in office. Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by a margin of 9 points, which CNN notes is "just a single point wider than Clinton's loss in Ohio, a perennial presidential battleground state."

Cruz, a former Republican presidential candidate, still has more cash on hand than O'Rourke by about $1 million. In a poll conducted by the left-leaning firm End Citizens United in January, Cruz led O'Rourke 45 percent to 37 percent, with 18 percent of people saying they were undecided, The Hill reports.

A Democrat has not won a Senate seat in Texas since 1988. Read why Ryan Cooper thinks Democrats should go after Cruz anyway at The Week.