Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic congressman from El Paso, has made the Texas race for US Senate one of the most widely watched nationally. Americans get to take the pulse of it tonight (Oct. 16), when O’Rourke faces the Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in a debate in San Antonio.
Once a long-shot, O’Rourke raised $38 million over the past three months—more than three times as much as Cruz and a record for any Senate candidate. That hasn’t given him a lead in the polls, though. Most recent surveys put Cruz ahead of O’Rourke, by as much as nine points. Texans vote on Nov. 6, when the US will select 35 of its 100 senators and the entire 435-member House of Representatives.
How to watch the O’Rourke-Cruz debate
Here’s how you can watch the debate, which starts at 9pm US eastern time:
- San Antonio’s KENS5 will air the debate live. The TV station will also have a livestream on its website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.
- The debate will also air on C-Span.
- O’Rourke supporters are organizing watch parties across Texas, as are Cruz fans.
Why the O’Rourke-Cruz race matters
Still, O’Rourke’s popularity in the Republican stronghold of Texas has hopeful Democrats, uneasy Republicans, and pundits around the country dissecting his campaign for clues on what parts of his strategy might take elsewhere.
The debate will be the second between Cruz and O’Rourke. Cruz’s vote to confirm Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as well as the administration’s immigration policies are likely to come up. Other topics Texans want to see addressed: health insurance, political polarization, and climate change.