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As it happenedended1541581802

Texas midterm elections - as it happened: Ted Cruz wins tight Senate race against Beto O'Rourke

Chris Riotta
New York
,Sarah Harvard
Wednesday 07 November 2018 10:09 GMT
Ted Cruz congratulates Beto O'Rourke 'he poured his heart into this campaign'

Texas voters have re-elected Republican Ted Cruz to the US Senate after a tight battle with Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

The Senate seat for the Lone Star state remains ruby red after the historic 2018 midterms, though analysts said Mr O’Rourke brought a wave of Democratic voters to the ballots and could prove a viable candidate in the 2020 presidential elections.

His candidacy may have proven beneficial for Democrats like Gina Ortiz Jones whose bid to win the House of Representatives seat of Republican Will Hurd in the state’s 23rd district was too close to call.

Mr Cruz was not the only Republican to fight back against Democrats threatening the GOP’s hold on the region, however.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also won a second term by defeating Democrat Lupe Valdez in a race whose outcome was seldom in doubt.

Mr Cruz congratulated Mr O’Rourke during a celebratory speech on Tuesday night, saying his opponent “poured his heart” into the race.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Rourke said he was “so f****** proud” of his supporters in a viral concession speech that essentially left the door open to his running against Donald Trump in 2020.

The president played a key role in the US Senate race, throwing his support behind Mr Cruz and stumping for the Republican despite the two previously hurling exchanges towards each other in the 2016 presidential election.

To catch up on how the evening progressed follow our live blog below

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Texas Senate race.

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate, hopes to summon a "blue wave" to unseat Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, who is best known for his failed run for the White House in 2016.

Almost five million Texas have already voted early, surpassing the total number of people who voted in the state in the 2014 midterms.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 10:31
Ibrahim Salha6 November 2018 10:38

Beto O'Rourke held his final election rally in El Paso last night, where he appeared confident of victory over Ted Cruz.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 10:50

Cruz, meanwhile, urged his supporters to "keep Texas red" following his rally at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 11:05

Several major US cities are offering free public transport for election day, including in Houston and Dallas, both in Texas and Tampa, Florida.

Harry.Cockburn6 November 2018 12:35
Harry.Cockburn6 November 2018 12:38

O'Rourke's campaign to unseat Cruz is notable because it has been largely funded by small donors.

He raised more than $38 million between July and September, the biggest quarterly haul of any Senate candidate in history.

The Democrat, who currently sits in the House of Representatives, is a firm supporter of universal healthcare, has called for new gun-control laws and believes marijuana should be legalised.

Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 13:11
Tom Parfitt6 November 2018 13:27

If you're wondering how to find your local polling station today, Google's got you covered

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 15:07

Whatever happens in the Lone Star state today, Beto O'Rourke has announced himself as a up-and-coming icon of the Democratic Party.

A previously obscure three-term House member and onetime member of an El Paso punk rock band, Mr O'Rourke has visited all 254 Texas counties since announcing his candidacy in March 2017, drawing larger-than-expected crowds, even in fiercely conservative areas.

Preaching optimism and bipartisanship, his uncompromising liberal agenda has included calls to impeach President Donald Trump, decriminalise marijuana, implement universal healthcare and gun control and relax federal immigration policies. 

"My confidence is in the people of Texas," he said on Monday night, moments before staging a rally with Mariachi band at the University of Texas. "I think we have every indication, based on turnout so far, that we're going to have a very good day tomorrow." 

Joe Sommerlad6 November 2018 15:22

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