Tea party favorite Ted Cruz forces GOP establishment into runoff in Texas

Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz, has been campaigning in Texas against the GOP establishment, namely, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.  Cruz has been endorsed by Ron Paul, Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, Sarah Palin, and many others associated with the Tea Party.  Cruz was able to hold Dewhurst to gather under 50% of the vote Tuesday, forcing a runoff election between the two on July 31.

Nine candidates had been in the Republican field for Senate in Texas.  Ted Cruz, an attorney, and David Dewhurst, the owner of an energy consortia, both had the highest number of votes.  Dewhurst has been endorsed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and managed to pour $15 million of his own funds into his campaign to become a senator.

“The voters of Texas want a leader who will be a strong conservative and a fighter, and the lieutenant governor’s record has not been conservative,” Cruz told The Associated Press.  “He has consistently compromised with Democrats, increased spending and increased taxes,” Cruz said. “Despite a mountain of money trying to paint a very different picture, the voters of Texas held him accountable.”

A new Public Policy Polling survey found that Rick Perry’s endorsement actually hurts candidates now.  24 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they would prefer a candidate backed by the infamous Gov. Perry, while 28 percent say they’d be more likely to decline a candidate based on the endorsement of Perry.  In such a close race, that 28% of Republican voters may make quite a difference.

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