The Texas Senate race is already heating up as Democratic Representative Colin Allred is poised to challenge incumbent Ted Cruz
Allred’s initial fundraising haul is an early sign that the Lone Star State will once again host an expensive Senate race. The fact that Allred raised more than $2 million in the first 36 hours of his campaign is a clear indication that Democrats are all in for Allred.
Allred’s early fundraising success is noteworthy, especially when compared to GOP Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign finances. Cruz raised $1.3 million during the first three months of the year, which pales in comparison to Allred’s impressive start. Cruz did end the first fundraising quarter with $3.3 million in his campaign account, while Allred’s House campaign had $2.2 million, which could be transferred to his Senate run.
Texas is one of Senate Democrats’ few pickup opportunities next year and a tough one at that. But a well-funded Democratic challenger could force Republicans to spend money in the Lone Star State, diverting money away from Republican efforts to flip blue Senate seats.
Why Colin Allred is a Game Changer for Texas Democrats
Allred’s entry into the race has energized Texas Democrats. As a former NFL player and civil rights attorney, he has a unique background that appeals to a diverse range of voters. He has served as a United States Representative since 2019 and has quickly established himself as a leader in Congress.
Allred has been a fierce advocate for social justice issues, including equal pay, criminal justice reform, and access to affordable healthcare. He has also been a vocal proponent of voting rights, which is a critical issue in Texas.
Allred’s campaign message focuses on unity and bipartisanship, which is a welcome change from the divisive rhetoric that has become all too common in American politics. He is committed to working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Texas.
Why Colin Allred Could Be the Key to Flipping Texas Blue
Texas has been a Republican stronghold for decades, but the state’s demographics are rapidly changing. The state’s Hispanic population has grown by 20% in the past decade, making up 40% of the state’s population. The state’s Asian and Black populations are also growing rapidly, and younger voters are becoming increasingly diverse and progressive.
These demographic changes have created an opportunity for Democrats to turn Texas blue. Allred’s campaign has the potential to appeal to these diverse groups of voters, making him a key player in the Democrats’ efforts to flip Texas.
Allred’s early fundraising success is also a promising sign for Texas Democrats. If he continues to raise significant amounts of money, he could force Republicans to spend money defending their seat in Texas, diverting resources away from other races.
Moreover, Allred is a moderate and not a liberal. In fact, he’s one of the least liberal Democrats in Congress, and his record as a moderate will certainly help him in Texas.
Why Colin Allred’s Criticism of Ted Cruz Matters
Allred wasted no time in criticizing Senator Ted Cruz for spending time hosting a podcast, which releases three episodes per week. Cruz defended his podcasting, saying it is popular “because people found it valuable to understand what was happening in the Senate.”
While Cruz’s podcast may be popular, it is unlikely to sway voters in the Texas Senate race. Allred’s criticism of Cruz is significant because it highlights the difference between the two candidates. Allred is focused on the issues that matter to Texas voters, while Cruz is focused on promoting his personal brand.
Allred’s criticism of Cruz also shows that he is not afraid to take on the Republican establishment in Texas. This is a critical trait for any Democrat hoping to win in the Lone Star State, where Republicans have dominated for decades.
How likely is an Allred win?
Texas is not nearly as conservative as it used to be. In the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections, Republican George W. Bush carried the state by over 20 percentage points. And in 2008 and 2012, Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney earned Lonestar wins over Barack Obama well into double digits.
However, after Donald Trump defeated rival Hillary Clinton there by only 8.8 percentage points in 2016, many started to wonder if the state’s days as a GOP stronghold were numbered. And that notion was certified by the 2020 election as Trump defeated Joe Biden by just 5 1/2 percentage points.
And yes, Cruz defeated Beto O’Rourke in 2018 by just 2.6 percentage points.
However, there are some cold, hard facts Democrats must consider.
The Problems for Democrats in Texas:
- In the aforementioned hotly contested U.S. Senate race in 2018, Republican incumbent Ted Cruz held on to defeat Beto O’ Rourke who raised a then-U.S. Senate record $80 million for his campaign but it still wasn’t enough.
- Last year, Republican incumbent Governor Greg Abbott defeated O’Rourke by 11 percentage points in Texas – And while the winner wasn’t surprising, Democrats were hoping they’d come closer.
- If President Biden’s approval ratings aren’t over 50 percent, the chances of ANY Democrat winning a statewide race in Texas are low.
Cruz isn’t well-liked and has often come across as heartless in the face of mass shootings and subsequent attempts at gun reform, and on abortion issues. If Biden can increase his approval ratings and Allred can campaign in the center, politically, continue to outraise Cruz, and energize voters 18 to 30, Colin has a formidable chance to win. However, he’s still the underdog because this is still Texas albeit not ruby red anymore.