Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, easily clinched the Democratic Senate nomination Tuesday night in Texas. But O’Rourke didn’t make the kind of blue wave needed to sink the incumbent, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The upstart Democrat didn’t even get half-as-many votes as Cruz in the open primary.
Cruz pointed to that data point to dispel forecasts of a Democrat deluge. “Because every two years, every four years, Texas is always fixin’ to turn blue, but the nice value of it is, in Texas at least, there are a lot more conservatives than there are liberals,” Cruz told CNN.
And if the election was held tomorrow, the totals would be even more staggering. As Jeffrey Blehar points out over at Decision Desk HQ, the race was uncontested, meaning that 1.3 million primary voters showed up to give Cruz the nomination in what amounted to little more than a formality.
Those same voters will be back and will be bringing along their slightly more apathetic brethren in November, especially if the media continues to bill the race as some sort of brutal battle royale.
But Republicans haven’t won this Senate seat by anything less than a million votes in the last two decades. What's more, Democrats failed to find a serious challenger to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott at the top of the ballot. Arithmetic, geography, and history do not smile, then, on the idea that O’Rourke can beat Cruz. Unless he gets caught shredding the Constitution or kneeling during the national anthem, Cruz should be able to keep his head above water in November.