A recent poll shows that Ted Cruz’s senate challenger Beto O’Rourke has increased his odds in the race. When 2018 began for tracking political campaigns, polls showed that Cruz had a lead in the range of fourteen to fifteen percent against O’Rourke. The recent poll by End Citizens United demonstrates that the split between voters in the Texas Senate election is now forty-five percent for Cruz and thirty-seven percent for O’Rourke. The poll helps to highlight changes in the race between Cruz and O’Rourke.
Recent developments in campaigning and issues created a smaller gap between the candidates. Other polls illustrate that Cruz has high unfavorable ratings among voters. Voters have perceived Cruz as selfish and unconcerned with voters’ needs. On the other hand, O’Rourke rates high in likability. Within months, more voters will be exposed to O’Rourke. He has had less visibility at the national level, so voters are not as familiar with him and his platform.
In the area of platform issues, O’Rourke has sided with more popular political stances. Climate change has become a bigger issue in the past few years. The environmental group The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund gave an endorsement to O’Rourke. This endorsement appeals to voters who find conservation and environmentalism as crucial to the platforms of elected officials. O’Rourke has embarked on a truly grassroots campaign, while Cruz has been less active in touring voting districts in Texas. Out of 254 counties in Texas, O’Rourke has campaigned in all of them. O’Rourke has also been outspoken on the controversial issues of the border and immigration. With an eye to the role of Texas in local and national politics, O’Rourke has pledged to bring back together the families that have been divided at the Mexican border.
O’Rourke has also decided to run his campaign without money from PACs or Political Action Committees. Supporters gave O’Rourke $2.4 million at the end of 2017. Because Cruz takes money from PACs, he has raised a total of $7.3 million compared to O’Rourke’s $4.6 million. End Citizens United is a group that will help to end this campaign funding difference caused by PACs. Only grassroots supporters can donate to the group, and they will use their grassroots funding to back candidates who want to create a fair campaign finance system and to initiate reforms at the government level. End Citizens United will help support candidates like O’Rourke with grassroots organizing and activism. With the use of social media and grassroots campaigning, O’Rourke will be a genuine challenger to Cruz’s senate seat. If O’Rourke wins over Cruz, he will represent a positive step in reforming the Citizens United ruling from the Supreme Court.
The story behind the Citizens United ruling goes back to the 2008 Presidential Election. A conservative group called Citizens United wanted to show a negative film against Hillary Clinton while she had candidacy in the Democratic presidential primaries. While Citizens United claimed “Hillary: The Movie” was a film, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) classified it as a campaign ad. Still after a lawsuit from Citizens United, the FEC ruling was maintained by a federal court. In 2010, Citizens United had its favor. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the federal court’s ruling, and it reinterpreted the First Amendment right to free speech as equally valid to the actions and words of corporations as to individuals. Today, the Citizens United ruling justifies the free, unrestricted influence of corporations and foreign investors on US elections.