The Republican effort to save Sen. Ted Cruz is going to cost the party tens of millions of dollars that they can’t afford to spend all because of the success of Democratic candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas.
Chris Cillizza of CNN laid out the GOP‘s cash crunch that is being caused by Cruz:
The numbers there are worrisome for Republicans, too. As of the end of July, the NRSC had $22.75 million on hand as compared to $35 million for their Democratic counterpart. The Senate Leadership Fund ended the last filing period with $45 million in the bank, $20 million more than the largest Democratic Senate super PAC, but the latter already made $80 million in ad reservations in key states earlier this summer.
Add it all up and you get this: Texas becoming competitive is a major financial problem for Republicans who are trying to hang onto their Senate majority. If money — and, per above, we are likely talking about spending north of $10 million — has to be diverted to save Cruz, it means that same money has to be diverted from pickup opportunities. And that means the chances of Republicans capitalizing on those pickup opportunities shrinks — perhaps marginally, perhaps in a more major way.
Even if Beto O’Rourke loses, Democrats still win
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is a dogfight of a contest to keep her senate seat. The race is dead even. Thanks to Rep. O’Rourke keeping the Senate race so close in dark red Texas, Republicans won’t have millions of dollars to throw into the Missouri race. The effect will be the same in West Virginia, Montana, Indiana, and North Dakota.
Even if O’Rourke falls short on election day, he will have helped Democrats in other states win or keep their seats by forcing Republicans to spend resources in Texas. Of course, O’Rourke isn’t thinking about the national impact, he is trying to win a Senate seat, but Republicans have survived special elections in the Trump presidency by throwing millions of dollars into races.
The GOP doesn’t have the money to replicate this effort in November, which means that Democrats could win some close elections because Ted Cruz is being given the fight of his political life by Beto O’Rourke.
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