Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday cautioned the GOP against being overconfident about its chances of holding Texas, saying he believes the state’s 38 electoral votes will be “hotly contested” in 2020.
Cruz made the prediction at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, adding that he expected to see “record-shattering” Democratic turnout next year.
“If we lose Texas, it’s game over,” Cruz said. “I don’t believe Texas will turn blue, but central to that is we’re going to have to work to communicate and turn people out.”
The Texas senator said that he believes Trump and Texas’s other senator, John Cornyn, who is up for reelection next year, will win the state, but have to run a “serious race.”
During the nail biter that was former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke’s failed challenge to Cruz in 2018, “the Democrats in Texas increased their turnout more than 100 percent,” Cruz said.
“Beto O’Rourke raised over $80 million against us and outspent us three to one,” Cruz said. Cruz was victorious over O’Rourke by a meager 2.6 percentage points.
“I think the Texas election in 2018 is powerful foreshadowing for what to expect across the country in 2020,” Cruz said. “The far left is pissed off, they hate the president and that is a powerful motivator. If the left shows up in massive numbers and everybody else doesn’t that’s how we end up with an incredibly damaging election.”
Cruz also warned that Republicans who compromise too much on gun-control measures could turn off voters who prioritize Second Amendment rights and hand the presidential election to a Democrat. About 35.7 percent of Texans are gun owners, just above the national average of 29.1 percent
“If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights that could go a long way to electing a president Elizabeth Warren,” Cruz said.