US Midterm Elections: Texas Remains True

US Midterm Elections: Texas Remains True

  • Republican Ted Cruz defends his Senate seat in Texas against Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke.
  • Only 230,000 votes were missing O'Rourke in the end. He is nevertheless predicted a great political future.

From Johannes Kuhn and Beate WildAustin

The day before the Midterms, the "Betomania" was still limitless, on election night it was said: Texas is gonna texas – Texas is doing what Texas is doing. And that means: When it comes to larger offices, the state chooses conservatives. And so Republican Ted Cruz defended his Senate seat against Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke joins a whole series of unsuccessful Democratic senate campaigners in 2018. But what is unsuccessful? Only 230,000 votes were missing the challenger in the end, and that his political path is over, nobody believes.

The 46-year-old had traveled as a marathon man for months by car through all 254 Texas districts and had documented his election campaign on social media. The US media gave him the attribute "kennedyesk" and explained Cruz vs.. Beto for the most important election of the year.

Financially, the Senate election campaign broke historic records: Cruz raised $ 30 million, O'Rourke a whopping $ 70 million, though he renounced money from corporations. Democrats sent checks and good wishes from all over the country. Then, on election night, ranting about what Texas is after all a hillbilly state.

Another Texas: hope or horror vision?

The candidate himself also remained defeated in his positive message. When he performed in his hometown of El Paso, not far from the Mexican border, he exclaimed, "I'm so inspired and hopeful than I've ever been in my life that losing tonight will in no way make me feel like Texas or this country reduce." As he walked off the stage, John Lennon's "Imagine" sounded from the speakers.

Cruz also spoke on election night Houston of a choice of "hope and future". The Senator, known for his style of preaching lawyer, had been too concerned about his own future since his first election in 2012. That he cared more about his presidential candidacy than about Texan concerns, party friends in the Lone Star State took note of their strangers. A few days ago, these – of course anonymous – whispered in the magazine PoliticoThe little-loved Cruz has been beatable this year. O'Rourke just should not have revealed himself so clearly as a Democrat.

In fact, the O'Rourkes program was extremely left out for Texas: gun control, general health insurance, and marijuana legalization were supposed to unite a coalition of Democrats, minorities, and young past non-voters behind it. The Republicans caricatured him as a socialist and accused him of wanting to make free Texas the over-regulated and highly taxed California, which is considered conservative as an unofficial successor state of the Soviet Union.

Even a propeller plane was circling over the country and pulled the good news from behind: "No beto, because socialism is crappy". O'Rourke should just try not to meet a burglar with a gun, but to throw his skateboard or a triple mocha latte, mocked Cruz over his idea to better check gun buyers.

O'Rourke would have time now – for the presidential campaign

2018 was the twentieth year in a row that the Republicans won all the posts voted on throughout the state – from the governor to the Senate seat to the land commissioner, where George P. Bush was another political leader of the presidential dynasty warms up. But this time the party had to stretch, the gaps were smaller, because the four million Beto voters also made their cross with other Democrats.

This brought down some districts that were believed to be safe: In the Greater Houston area, residents voted for long-term House Representatives Pete Sessions and John Culberson, and a third race to the west has to be recounted. With Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia Texas sends two Latinas Texas to Washington for the first time. Although Latinos make up 40 percent of the population in Texas, this is the first time that Hispanic women have been elected to Congress.

O'Rourke embodies the face of a changing Texas, so the hope of the local Democrats in the defeat. The state is becoming urban and progressive. Metropolises such as Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio attract trained professionals with a liberal attitude. Texas is reminiscent of Virginia, which has been turning from a deep red to a clearly blue state since the beginning of the millennium. However, the progressive part of Texas has been waiting more often for a future, but it has remained the future.

That Beto O'Rourke should focus his attention on larger goals was heard more frequently on Tuesday evening. Having given up his seat in the House of Representatives, he now has plenty of time to tour the precincts of Iowa with his car. Particularly euphoric contemporaries recall that Abraham Lincoln also suffered a defeat in the senate election of 1858 in Illinois – and was elected president two years later.

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By Beate Wild

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