In a recent post, I speculated that Ted Cruz had gained some momentum against Establishment favorite David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate runoff. Late yesterday Sean Sullivan at the National Journal came to a similar conclusion:
Next week, voters will select a Republican Senate nominee in Texas, where a runoff between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst will bring a long campaign filled with twists and turns to an end. This much we know.
What we don’t know with any precision is how low turnout will be, who will vote, or even who is winning right now. (Both campaigns have released internal surveys from respected pollsters showing their candidates leading.)
But amid the plentiful variables are some clear signs that Cruz has the momentum in the race as next Tuesday approaches. Here are four signs the underdog could be on the verge of toppling the once heavily favored lieutenant governor:
Dewhurst’s Allies Are Throwing The Kitchen Sink At Cruz: The main super PAC supporting Dewhurst, the Texas Conservatives Fund, released a harsh new TV ad on Tuesday which can be best described as a political Hail Mary Pass.
The spot ties Cruz to the suicide of a teenager (the boy’s mother is featured in the ad) who served time in a juvenile detention center. But to say the connection is a stretch would be an understatement. Cruz defended a Pennsylvania developer in a judicial corruption scandal, but not on a criminal matter.
The super PAC’s decision to double down on the weak connection the last couple of weeks — and to release an ad with a lot of shock value one week from Election Day — looks like one based on a desire to shake up the race, not to solidify a lead for a sturdy frontrunner.
(h/t Greg W.)