Will All of This 'Show Biz' Attention Help Beto's Senate Campaign in Texas?

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

Democrat Beto O'Rourkey may not win in Texas, but if the U.S. Senate election were held in Hollywood, the El Paso Congressman would win in a landslide.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports that in the last two weeks, O'Rourke has appeared on the Ellen Degenres talk show, on the Late Show with Steve Colbert, and appeared at a New York fundraiser organized by the producer of the 'Real Housewives' franchise.

Later this month, legendary singer Willie Nelson will headline an event for O'Rourke in Austin.

So how does this help O'Rourke's chances of actually beating Ted Cruz and being elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas?

SMU political analyst Cal Jillson says it is not unusual for political candidates, especially underdogs, to go where the money is.

"While O'Rourke is going to Hollywood and New York, Ted Cruz is getting support from the Club for Growth, which is in Washington DC, and is bringing Donald Trump to Texas," he said.

And Jillson says much of O'Rourke's campaign cash is coming from Texas.

"The last numbers that I saw showed O'Rourke getting about 70% of his campaign money from Texas, and Ted Cruz getting somewhat less."

Jillson says the smart money is still on Cruz to win the election, despite the attention and the adulatory media attention being paid to O'Rourke, who is being compared to Barack Obama.

He points out that the polls that Democrats are using to raise money, which show O'Rourke pulling even with Cruz, are among 'registered voters' and not 'likely voters,' which, in an off year election in Texas, is a very important difference.

He says Democrats have always had a problem getting their core voters, mainly minority voters, to the polls.He also points out that there are still far more Republican voters than Democrats in Texas.  

He says one thing polls don't take into consideration is the fact that as much as one third of the Republican vote is 'straight ticket,' which is one of the reasons why Greg Abbott vastly outpolled Wendy Davis in the 2014 race for governor, even though the polls showed the two close.

Analysts say if O'Rourke begins polling at least three or four points ahead of Cruz, there is a real chance he might pull off the upset of the century.  But polls showing the two neck-and-neck or a slight Cruz lead, like we have today, means a Cruz victory on election day.

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