In Focus

Dewhurst, Cruz making final push for Senate seat

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's your voice, your vote, and with the state's primary elections less than a week away, candidates are making their final push. Two Republicans battling for the U.S. Senate aren't holding back in what's become a very heated campaign.

Two polls out this week show the same thing at the top of the Senate race. David Dewhurst is leading. Ted Cruz in second. Tom Leppert and Craig James are behind.

The important thing here is that no one is above 50 percent meaning we could be heading into a runoff. After spending at least $8 million of his own dollars, that has to be at least a little surprising for Dewhurst.

After winning four statewide elections, this run for the Senate was supposed to be easier for Dewhurst. He is the sitting Lieutenant Governor -- has been since 2003 -- and is known to Republicans around the state.

"You're not going to find a more conservative record," Dewhurst told supporters.

At a time when the Texas economic recovery continues to outpace the rest of the nation, Dewhurst is clearly the man to beat.

"If you like Texas and you like our economy, I helped create all that and all those jobs and you will love it when David Dewhurst goes to Washington," Dewhurst said.

But somewhere along the winding road to Washington DC, Dewhurst has come up against some Texas conservatives eager to find someone more conservative than the Lt. Governor.

"We need to cut everywhere and everything," said Cruz.

Polls show the alternative may be Cruz, a constitutional lawyer and Houston native. He's running second, but possibly strong enough to force Dewhurst into a runoff.

"If you think the answer to what's going on in Washington is to send another moderate establishment incumbent politician, then you have an easy choice in this race," Cruz said.

Dewhurst is spending heavily on TV.

"There's too many people like Ted Cruz in Washington today," one Dewhurst ad says.

In an ad Cruz calls untrue.

"It's complete and utter nonsense," Cruz said.

Dewhurst says this one from an independent group isn't true either.

"Moderate, tax raising David Dewhurst is wrong for Texas," says the Club for Growth ad.

Both campaigns and outside groups are pouring millions into the race. There's little doubt Dewhurst will finish first, but it's possibly without more than 50 percent of the vote. Heading to a midsummer runoff could be anything but a dream for the man who started a far easier race than he's finishing.

The ad war is nearly constant. But the endorsement was is just as heavy. Just today, Rick Santorum joined Sarah Palin and Ron Paul in Cruz's column. Governor Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Michael Reagan all support Dewhurst.

Early voting ends on Friday, May 25. After that you'll have to wait until the primary date of Tuesday, May 29 to cast your ballot. You can find your polling location plus more information about the candidates by clicking here.

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