Ted Cruz has served two terms as the junior Senator from Texas. He won reelection rather easily in 2018. Despite that, he’s still one of the most unpopular Senators in the United States. Tuesday’s primary brought Cruz some news that could make the upcoming campaign very difficult.

Republican Primary Results

Ted Cruz had an easy victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary. As expected, he won handily, garnering 88.3% of the vote. He had two opponents, but Holland Gibson earned only 6% of the vote and Rufus Lopez won only 5.7%.

Source: KVUE-TV

In a normal year, you might think that such an overwhelming victory would be good news for an incumbent. That’s not the case here because Cruz is widely hated and needs to win over some independents and Democrats to be reelected.

Democratic Primary Results

The Democratic primary was highly contested. There were a total of nine candidates on the ballot. That’s to be expected when one party is contesting an incumbent. You might expect a split vote, but one candidate won by a large margin.

Source: Campaign courtesy photo

The victor in the Democratic primary was Colin Allred, who won with an impressive 58.7% of the vote. His closest opponent got just over 16% of the vote. So while his total percentage was lower than Cruz’s, he still won handily.

Who Is Colin Allred?

There are some who might say that Colin Allred is Ted Cruz’s worst nightmare. He’s handsome and charismatic and nobody would accuse Cruz of being either. He has served as the US Representative from Texas’s 32nd Congressional District.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Allred once played professional football for the Tennessee Titans. After he left professional sports, he became a lawyer. He served in the Obama administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

Can Allred Win?

One of the burning questions is whether Colin Allred can win a statewide election in Texas. He’s popular in his own district, but will that translate to a victory over Cruz? That remains to be seen and we won’t know until election day.

Source: Mandel Ngan

Allred is most likely to prevail with high voter registration and high turnout. These are factors that tend to favor Democrats in most cases. We expect that his campaign will put a lot of time and effort into registration and turnout.

Who Did Cruz Want As An Opponent?

The short answer to who Ted Cruz wanted as an opponent is “Anybody but Allred.” Colin Allred has proven to be extremely popular in Texas and around the country. He’s done well with fundraising and has undeniable appeal to both Democrats and independents.

Source: Joe Mitchell

It’s unclear which of Allred’s opponents Cruz would have preferred. He lucked out during his last reelection campaign when his opponent, Beto O’Rourke, lost after a promising start. It’s doubtful that Allred will do the same this time around.

What Do The Polls Say?

A new University of Texas at Tyler (UTT) poll had more bad news for Ted Cruz. It’s common for incumbents to have an advantage heading into a general election. They usually have better name recognition and more money than their opponents.

Source: AP

The bummer for Cruz is that the general election campaign is just starting and he’s neck-and-neck with his opponent. Both pulled 41% of surveyed voters with 12% saying they’re still undecided. That’s not good for Cruz in the upcoming election.

Cruz Vs Allred: Fundraising Comparison

To get an idea of how much trouble Cruz might be in, let’s look at both candidates’ fourth quarter fundraising. Ted Cruz just reported that he raised $3.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. That might seem like a lot, but it really depends on Allred’s reports.

Source: Pexels/John Guccione

Colin Allred has reported that he raised $4.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. That means that he earned more than half again as much as Cruz. It’s not clear yet whether his fundraising is coming from Texas voters or Democrats across the country.

Why Is Ted Cruz So Hated?

One of the biggest questions is why Ted Cruz is so hated. Nearly all his Senate colleagues seem to tolerate him at best, while many openly dislike him. He has been described as having a “punchable face” and others have called him smarmy.

Source: GC Images

One of Cruz’s biggest problems is his tendency toward hypocrisy. One of the best known examples is when he snuck off to Cancun while Texas weather left residents freezing and without power. He attempted to lie about the trip.

Is Cruz The Democrats’ Number One Target?

After the primary results came in, Cruz claimed to be the number one target for Democrats. It’s certainly true that Democrats want to flip Cruz’s seat. Texas is usually a red state, but Cruz does appear to be vulnerable this year.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While Cruz is still the favorite, a lot of Texans are angry at him. It’s for that reason that Democrats have focused on ousting him from the Senate. The 2018 collection was a close call for Cruz and Allred might be poised to outdo Beto O’Rourke’s performance.

How Close Was The 2018 Election For Cruz?

In the 2018 election, Ted Cruz won a narrow victory. Ultimately, he edged out Democrat Beto O’Rourke by just 2.6%. That translated to 216,000 votes. That’s a narrow margin given that Texas has a population of 29.53 million people.

Source: timesrecordnews

Cruz ran ahead of O’Rourke for much of the election. O’Rourke narrowed the gap consistently but was ultimately unable to close it. Still, he came closer than any Democrat has in a long time. There’s hope that Allred can be the one to pull off a victory.

What Can Cruz Do To Improve His Chances?

You might be wondering what, if anything, Cruz can do to improve his chances in the general election. That remains to be seen. He is who he is and doesn’t seem to realize how off-putting his demeanor is to many voters.

Source: Saul Loeb

Cruz could try to carve out some space between himself and Allred by catering to voters. He could try to be less of a hypocrite. The chance of either is unlikely, but given Texans’ proclivity to vote red, he could still win.

How Can Allred Beat Cruz?

Allred’s path to victory isn’t as convoluted as Cruz’s, but it will require a combination of hard work and luck. Registering voters is likely to play an important role, as will getting registered voters to the polls on Election Day.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Republicans in Texas have been working hard to suppress the vote. They’ve reduced the number of polling places in some areas that tend to vote for Democrats. The Democratic Party is going to need to push back every step of the way to give Allred a chance.

Who Will Come Out On Top In Texas?

It’s too early to say who’ll come out on top in Texas. Cruz has the incumbent’s advantage. Will it be enough to overcome the general distaste for him and his fundraising disadvantage? That remains to be seen.

Source: Mariam Zuhaib

If Allred can continue to out-fundraise Cruz, he could have a very good chance of beating Cruz on Election Day. It’s probable that the Democratic Party will support Allred heavily to improve his chances and increase its majority in the Senate.