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Texas Elections 2018

6 ways Beto O’Rourke's Senate bid is like Ted Cruz’s first bid for Congress

Back in 2012, Ted Cruz was the underdog who managed to beat out the better-known David Dewhurst for a U.S. Senate seat. Now, as Cruz is running for re-election, there are echoes of that earlier campaign in Beto O'Rourke's bid to unseat Cruz.

Left: U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke campaigning in El Paso in 2018; right: Ted Cruz campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Texas Elections 2018

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in the race for U.S. Senate. View full 2018 Texas election results or subscribe to The Brief for the latest election news.

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1) O'Rourke's trajectory in 2018 parallels Cruz's in 2012 ... so far

Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at a U.S. Senate debate in Houston on July 23, 2012.

2) Cruz framed his 2012 bid as that of a grassroots champion taking on an entrenched politician. O'Rourke is running the same play.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks to his Gainesville supporters at the Historic Santa Fe Train Depot in Cooke County on June 9, 2018.

3) Cruz's main opponent was a politician seen as overshadowed by a fellow Republican. Now Cruz finds himself in that position.

President Donald Trump speaks with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, before a meeting with families of the Santa Fe school shooting in Houston on May 31, 2018.

4) Cruz accused Dewhurst of falsely attacking his patriotism. O’Rourke backers are making the same allegation of Cruz.

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks at a campaign rally in Edinburg on Sept. 23, 2018.

5) Cruz had an enthusiasm advantage against Dewhurst. Now, O’Rourke appears to have such an advantage.

Republican primary candidate Ted Cruz, center, is joined on stage by Sarah Palin, left, and Senator Jim DeMint, right, at a rally in The Woodlands, Texas, on Friday July 27, 2012.

6) Even before he won, Cruz’s 2012 bid prompted speculation of a run for president. These days, O’Rourke’s drawing 2020 talk.

Supporters of Rep. Beto O'Rourke's campaign for U.S. Senate wait outside the Social Club in Edinburg on Sept. 23, 2018.

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Congress Politics 2012 elections 2018 elections 2018 Texas U.S. Senate Election Beto O'Rourke David Dewhurst Ted Cruz