Senator Ted Cruz has just declined an invitation to debate his Democratic challenger in Texas, Beto O’Rourke, in a CNN town hall, that is set to be televised nationally.
That means O’Rourke will get to be on stage by himself for an entire hour, with no challenger.
At this time, it’s unsure why Ted Cruz chickened out, but it’s surprising everyone in his home state. He and his team have so far not given a response as to if he will change his mind or not.
The two men already battled it out in their first debate on Sept. 21, which was held on the SMU campus in Dallas. Beto O’Rourke was said to have finished strong against the incumbent senator.
For awhile now – both before and after that debate – polls seem to be going back and forth, one showing Cruz up at times, others showing him trailing. One thing is showing a repetitive pattern, though: Cruz’s lead in the double digits the last time he ran in 2012 are down to the single digits, meaning anyone can end up winning this race. Cruz shouldn’t feel, comfortable in the slightest.
According to Opensecrets.org, this has also been one of the costliest races in the country. Both campaigns have so far brought in close to $23 million each.
Given the intensity of the race, there’s really no reason Cruz shouldn’t be at that town hall.
CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the one-hour town hall with or without Cruz.
Other races of importance for the U.S. Senate include Arizona, Tennessee, and New Jersey.
While it will be much easier for Democrats to take over the House again (more seats are at play), the Senate will be closely watched, because even one more seat in the chamber for Democrats can mean the difference between legislation passing or being derailed.