While Beto O'Rourke has dazzled Texas Democrats, and become a favorite of Hollywood and the national media, an in depth analysis by the non partisan Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas concludes there is one hurdle that the El Paso Congressman won't be able to overcome in his effort to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, and that is the mathematics of defeat, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
One key to O'Rourke's potential success would be to pull Republican Texans, especially so called 'Never Trumpers' into the O'Rourke column.
But Texas Politics Project Director Jim Henson says if six percent of Texas Republicans decide to abandon Cruz and if all of them vote for O'Rourke, instead of not voting at all, based on recent numbers of Republican and Democrat votes cast in Texas, Cruz would still pull out a solid victory next month.
O'Rourke is also basing his campaign on convincing Democrats who historically have not cast ballots, like Millennials and Hispanics, to go to the polls in November and vote for him.
But Henson says even if 20% of O'Rourke's total vote is from this segment, which is a highly generous estimate, it still wouldn't be close to what the Democrat will need to win.
The analysis says over the last five mid term elections in Texas, some 900,000 more Republicans than Democrats have voted. That is a massive number for even the charismatic and energetic O'Rourke to overcome.
Henson says all Cruz has to do to win is to maintain that Republican edge. He says Cruz doesn't have to add one single voter to his column or convince one single Democrat to support him.
Cruz's campaigning has been targeted at just that, stressing the successes of Texas under Republican leadership, and pointing out O'Rourke's liberal positions on issues like gun rights. In the first debate, for example, Cruz's comments that O'Rourke's positions amount to 'socialism' and comparing him to Bernie Sanders were clear signals to the state's Republicans to stand up against O'Rourke.
Henson says while Texas politics is bound to become for evenly aligned between Democrats and Republicans in the coming years, it won't happen this year, and it won't happen with this race.
The mathematics of defeat.