The eight weeks since Cruz sent the election to a runoff by garnering enough of the vote to keep Dewhurst below 50% have been particularly nasty. Dewhurst, whose campaign staff expected to be on vacation now, has been unable to drum up grassroots support and is instead relying on blanketing Texas’ airwaves with negative ads. Dewhurst’s campaign has tried to paint Cruz as a communist sympathizer, and a pro-Dewhurst SuperPAC put out the “Nastiest ad of the campaign cycle” blaming Cruz for a Pennsylvania teen’s suicide.
Texas voters, however, have not responded positively to these ads from camp Dewhurst. A source close to Cruz’s phone-banking operation told me that “we have noticed a large number of people who have said that there is no way they would vote for Dewhurst due to the absurdly negative campaign ads he has run.”
In contrast to Dewhurst, who has pumped millions of dollars of his personal fortune into the campaign, Cruz is the candidate of the grassroots who built up his base by attending local Republican meetings and Tea Party rallies. This means that Cruz has a strong base that is fired up to vote in the primary, as evidenced by the fact that he leads the latest poll 63% to 33% amongst voters who are “very excited” to vote in the runoff. With an electorate that is tired of a vicious campaign, and a wave of momentum behind his campaign, Cruz is widely expected to spend today dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on his way to the Senate.