With the re-election of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, Democrats officially retained control of the Senate. There are still outstanding races in the House, but if Republicans take control, it will likely be in the low single digits. Forget a tsunami, that’s more a pitter-patter.
Cruz’s erroneous election prediction led him on a bus tour of the United States, where he stumped for several Republican candidates across the country. It went badly. Nearly all the candidates that he endorsed in battleground races lost. In Michigan. In Virginia. In North Carolina. In Arizona. Cruz somehow possesses a reverse Midas touch.
Even in Texas, Cruz claimed that Republicans would dominate in the Rio Grande Valley and that Hispanics would continue their migration to the Republican Party. While a far-right Latina did win in TX-15, both Democrats Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez comfortably won their re-elections.
The bus tour was just the latest manifestation of Cruz’s national ambitions. If Cruz is serious about mounting a presidential campaign in 2024, he doesn’t have a lot to show for it.
It’s easy to forget, but Cruz came in second in 2016 and won the Iowa caucus (though Trump true to form said it was stolen). He then made the infamous non-endorsement speech at the 2016 RNC Convention, which resulted in a chorus of boos. A few weeks later he retreated, and fully endorsed the man who called his wife ugly and said his dad had connections to the JFK assassination.
Throughout the Trump presidency, Cruz remained a dedicated foot soldier. So much so, that after Joe Biden clearly won the presidency in 2020, Cruz objected to the certification of electoral votes. He was just beginning his objection speech in the Senate, when the Insurrection began. It has to sting a little for Cruz that his mentor, former Judge J. Michael Luttig, said trying to block Biden’s win was “nonsense.”
In some way Cruz is at a crossroads. He won his re-election in 2018 against Beto O’Rourke by less than three points. But he’s clearly itching to move past Texas. He revels in attention (hence the books and podcasts). And he might have had a launch pad to 2024 with that red tsunami. Now, he’s stuck. He even said he was so [ticked] off, “he couldn’t see straight.”
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