AUSTIN, Texas — Ted Cruz slayed the Texas Republican establishment in 2012 with his Senate win, took Washington by storm and finished second only to Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
His success was built on a frenetic campaign and tireless travel schedule.
Cruz raked in small-donor dollars as he hit every sparsely attended tea party gathering, church forum and Republican women’s luncheon he could.
But, now seeking a second Senate term, Cruz has been outraised by his Democratic opponent, one-time punk rocker and El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke. And O’Rourke also has visited more of Texas lately.
Compounding questions about whether Cruz’s Texas campaign mojo is slipping is the candidate’s own refusal to rule out another White House run post-Trump.
Despite all that, Cruz remains the race’s prohibitive favorite.