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Why Ted Cruz’s next reelection path looks smoother with Beto O’Rourke behind him

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz will be up for reelection next year, now a seasoned senator and established conservative leader. But Democrats are still holding out hope they can repeat the sensation of Beto-mania.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gives closing arguments to a crowd at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford on Nov. 5, 2018.

A new Democratic challenger

Colin Allred took the stage after he won his bid for U.S. Representative against incumbent Pete Sessions in the 2018 midterms on Nov. 6, 2018, in Dallas.

O'Rourke's legacy

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks to an estimated crowd at the Social Club in Edinburg during a campaign event on Sept. 23, 2018.

The Cruz factor

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, participates in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs/Rules and Administration hearing to examine the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2021.

No longer a rookie senator

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Congress 2018 Texas U.S. Senate Election Beto O'Rourke Colin Allred Ted Cruz