Texas Senate Race Shows Tea Party Strength
The easy victory of Houston lawyer Ted Cruz in the Republican U.S. Senate runoff in Texas shows the tea party movement remains a potent force in American politics.
TOM RAUM, Associated Press, Aug 2, 2012
It also highlights an anti-establishment frustration among voters, especially grass-roots conservative activists, which could influence national elections in November.
Cruz, a tea party favorite, defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by 13 points Tuesday, even though most of the Texas GOP establishment — including Gov. Rick Perry — backed Dewhurst.
Cruz, 41, a former state solicitor general and son of a Cuban immigrant father, faces Democratic state Rep. Paul Sadler in November’s general election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
But Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in nearly two decades, and it’s widely assumed Cruz will win.
President Barack Obama campaigned Wednesday in Ohio, with stops planned in Mansfield and Akron. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, back from a rocky overseas trip, was to campaign on Thursday in Colorado.
But his campaign was running a new television ad in Ohio attacking Obama’s support for the auto industry bailout and blaming him for dealership closures across the state.
Polls show a continuing tight race between Obama and Romney, raising the importance of swing states like Ohio.
The tea party scored major gains in ...