Immediately after he was declared the victor in his race Cruz started running campaign ads against O'Rourke slamming his positions on immigration and guns which Cruz says are out of sync with most Texans. The brightest star on the ballot for Democrats, Senate challenger Beto O'Rourke, revealed weak spots after letting two primary rivals take 38 per cent of the vote. "They are angry. They hate the president", Mr. Cruz said.
But Cathie Adams, former Texas Republican Party chairwoman and early Cruz supporter, said continuing to eye the White House is a good thing.
"When you net the results, there are hundreds of thousands more voting in the Republican primary than the Democratic primary, so we absolutely have our work cut out for us", O'Rourke said by phone Wednesday. "We're seeing that in turnout". Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia both won their respective Democratic primaries in districts that typically vote blue. It's the first time they've surpassed the 1 million mark since 2002.
"It's clear Texas Democrats are fired up, exceeding expectations, and charging forward to November", Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said. "All across the country, Democrats are competing and winning in deep-red states". One poll found that 40 percent of Texas voters haven't heard of him.
Nationwide, Democrats need to flip 24 GOP-seats to reclaim a majority this fall. Pete Sessions, Will Hurd and John Culberson come November.
He went on to compare O'Rourke to Davis, the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee who became nationally famous for filibustering on behalf of abortion rights when she was in the legislature.
With O'Rourke leading the Democratic field as primary ballots are counted, the two could be headed for a faceoff in November. CNN's race rating of the Texas Senate race is Likely Republican.
In an interview on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday, O'Rourke defended his gun control stance, noting that Texas has a "great tradition and culture of gun ownership", but that the state should take "leadership on the issue".
Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, said Democrats can win if they nominate candidates cut from the same cloth as Mrs. Moser and Ms. Jones.