SAN ANTONIO – It is a heated race getting national attention, but it will be decided by Texans. The race for the United States senator from Texas has Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O'Rourke hitting the airwaves and the roads of the Lone Star State.
In recent stops in San Antonio, both candidates made it clear, South Texas is a big part of their senatorial strategy.
“The national media is like “Teen Vogue” when it comes to Beto, their hearts go pitter-pat,” says Cruz.
“This is going to decide not just the future of San Antonio or Texas, not just this country, not just this generation, but every generation to come going forward," says O’Rourke.
They are two very different candidates, running very different campaigns. Cruz speaks from a San Antonio stage with a microphone and a zest for the fight.
“I enjoy campaigning, and I will readily admit that I'm a fighter, every day I jump out of bed, thrilled that my job description is go fight for 28 million Texans," says Cruz.
On the other side of San Antonio, O'Rourke stands on a ladder with a bullhorn and a following. A park across from a polling location is the site of a makeshift rally, the kind of setting O'Rourke seems to enjoy.
“I feel people coming together despite party differences, people voting for the candidate, a person, not for a party, and that feels really good because that's what this country in this divided deeply polarized partisan moment needs, it needs us to transcend that,” says O’Rourke.
It is striking that just days before this election is decided, both candidates are focused on San Antonio, Bexar County, South Texas. As a matter of fact, Cruz calls Bexar County, “ground zero.”
“San Antonio, Bexar County is the battleground of this race, Bexar County has traditionally been a 50-50 county and it is being hard fought,” says Cruz.
“San Antonio, South Texas, Bexar County, if we do not perform well here, we are not going to win, we need this community to continue to turn out,” says O’Rourke.
Both candidates claim the momentum in the race is theirs, while Cruz has consistently held a lead in the polls. Upstairs at the Buckhorn Saloon, the Cruz crowd, heavy with red, wearing “Make America Great” hats and chants of “U-S-A.” Meanwhile the Beto crowd, carrying posters and wearing bedazzled Beto clothing.
“I want to represent everyone here in the state of Texas. Republicans, Democrats, independents alike. I want us to come together to make sure we reach our full potential,” says O’Rourke.
"Texans want low taxes, low regulations and lots of jobs. The economy here is booming, the oil and gas industry is booming, Texas is doing great, why would we screw that up?” says Cruz.
Both of them seem comfortable and confident of victory, and in the final stretch of the campaign, each will crisscross Texas in their own style, right down to their transportation. Ted Cruz leaves San Antonio in a brand new bus dubbed the “Cruz Cruiser”; Beto O’Rourke leaves in a minivan.