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Cruz Allies Ramp Up Spending

With just over a week left until Texas Republicans choose between former state Solicitor Gen. Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a July 31 runoff, Cruz's allies are ramping up their ad spending in the Lone Star State.

Senate Conservatives Action, the new Super PAC affiliated with Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund, released its first television ad supporting Cruz on Monday. The 30-second spot calls Cruz a "champion of freedom" and a "defender of the Constitution" while urging voters to support him in the runoff.

The super PAC is spending $500,000 to air the ad on broadcast stations in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin television markets.

Meanwhile, the Club for Growth, another conservative group backing Cruz over Dewhurst, announced Monday that it is spending an additional $574,000 on Cruz's behalf. That brings the anti-tax organization's spending on the race to $2.5 million since the GOP primary.

Dewhurst outpaced Cruz by 11 points in the primary, but he failed to receive a majority of votes, triggering the runoff. Dewhurst and his allies outspent Cruz by a wide margin during the primary battle.

The willingness of the Club and Senate Conservatives Action to invest so heavily in the final days of the race may reflect a growing sense that momentum is squarely in Cruz's corner. The tea party favorite also outraised Dewhurst by a three-to-one margin from July 1 through July 11, according to pre-runoff fundraising reports filed by both campaigns. Cruz brought in $523,000 during the 11 day span compared to $160,000 for Dewhurst.

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