TEXAS | TX-sen

Cruz Airs 4 TV Ads, 3 Attack O'Rourke

A Democratic poll found the Republican ahead by just 4 points.

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Zach C. Cohen
Aug. 6, 2018, 10:40 a.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R) “started airing the first TV ads of his re-election campaign, including one that highlights his work on the state's recovery from Hurricane Harvey and three others that take aim at” Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D).

One of the anti-O'Rourke spots tells viewers he is ‘more extreme than he wants you to know,’ pointing to comments O'Rourke has made about his support for impeaching President Donald Trump while also highlighting the movement among some liberal activists to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. … The commercial goes on to claim such positions put O'Rourke to the left of” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The announcer closes: "If Beto O'Rourke's positions are too extreme even for them, he's just too reckless for Texas."

“Another one brings up the remarks after reviewing the cases of three men who were in the country illegally, were deported multiple times and either convicted or accused of crimes after returning again. ‘But Beto O'Rourke said our border is secure,’ a narrator then says. ‘That's why he's open to abolishing ICE.’”

“The other anti-O'Rourke spot focuses on a bill from Cruz that President Donald Trump signed into law last year that expanded the number of unemployment benefit applicants that states can drug test. A narrator then seeks to contrast the law with O'Rourke's successful effort on the El Paso City Council in 2009 to amend a resolution to urge for an ‘open, honest, national dialogue on ending the prohibition of narcotics.’” The announcer: "Beto O'Rourke said we should consider legalizing all narcotics, including heroin — that would be destructive to our communities and families.”

“The other TV ad Cruz began running Friday … touts Cruz's involvement in passing Harvey aid in Congress and shows media coverage of him visiting affected communities after the storm devastated the Gulf Coast last year. It also features a clip of Cruz at a news conference standing next to Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, who says, ‘No official, state or federal, has been more involved in the recovery of Galveston County than Sen. Ted Cruz.’” The announcer closes: "When the hurricane hit, you stood up for Texas … and Ted Cruz stood up for you."

“The Harvey-themed commercial is airing in Beaumont, while the O'Rourke attack ads were found to be on the air Friday morning in Abilene and Lubbock.” (Texas Tribune)

O’Rourke said he will “resist the temptation” to respond with negative ads of his own. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Cruz was narrowly ahead of O’Rourke 46-42 percent in a Public Policy Polling (D) (IVR + online) survey (Aug. 1-2; 797 voters; +/- 3.5%) released by End Citizens United. O’Rourke’s favorability was 31-26 percent.

“After learning that O’Rourke is not taking a dime from political action committees or special interest group PACs, voters in January supported him over Cruz 43-41, and O’Rourke retains and expands this lead in August, 46-43. A plurality (48%) of voters believe special interest money in Texas elections is a major problem, and 24% believe it is a minor problem. Also, a majority of voters (56%) would be more likely to support a candidate who has pledged to not take any money from corporate special interests. … A plurality of Texans (44%) think Cruz is more responsive to his big campaign donors than to ordinary Texans.” (release)

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