Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) compared Democratic Senate opponent Beto O'Rourke to former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis in a new interview, saying she also was popular with national liberals but out of step with Texas.
O'Rourke, a current U.S. representative who has been the subject of dozens of glowing media profiles and a favorite of liberals across the country, is trying to upset Cruz in November, and polls have consistently shown a tight race. Cruz told Vice News that he's confident he will be victorious but isn't getting too comfortable.
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"We're going to win this race," Cruz said. "I feel very good about where we are, but the reason we're going to win it is we're not taking anything for granted."
Referring to the excitement over O'Rourke, Cruz said liberal hopes of a blue wave that doesn't pan out has played out repeatedly in Texas. Davis entered the national spotlight in 2013 when she filibustered an anti-abortion bill as a state senator. She used the momentum to earn the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014, but Republican Greg Abbott routed her by more than 20 points.
"Every two and four years, the national media starts to swoon and say there's a blue wave in Texas. Four years ago, we saw it with Wendy Davis," Cruz said. "Like Beto O'Rourke, Wendy Davis raised tens of millions of dollars and thrilled liberal Democrats in Massachusetts and New York and California."
"But at the end of the day, the platform she was campaigning on was out of step with the people of Texas," he added. "I think that's very much the same here."
Cruz has repeatedly warned of high Democratic turnout due to their anger with the Trump administration.
"In November, we're going to see record-shattering Democratic turnout. Now here's the good news. This is Texas," he said at a campaign stop. "And in Texas, there are a whole lot more conservatives than there are liberals."