Texas' Cruz goes from longshot to easy victory

Associated Press
Holding his daughter Caroline, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz and and his wife, Heidi, holding their daughter, Catherine, appear before a cheerful crowd after Cruz defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election  for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in Houston.  (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson) MANDATORY CREDIT

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Ted Cruz often points out that when he began his run for U.S. Senate, he was polling at just 2 percent.

But the former state solicitor general pulled off what had seemed an unthinkable upset Tuesday, and it wasn't even close. He trounced Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by about 13 percentage points. The win shook one of America's reddest states to its political core.

Gov. Rick Perry and much of the rest of the Republican establishment lined up to endorse Dewhurst for their party's nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. And the party's mainstream doesn't lose much in Texas. After all, the state hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office in nearly 20 years.

Cruz figures to be an overwhelming favorite in November against Democrat Paul Sadler.

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