Beto O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz
All our U.S. Senate race coverage in one place.
Beto O’Rourke captivated audiences at town halls and online for more than a year in his bid to unseat the least popular senator in Washington D.C. But with little help on the ballot, a politically adept opponent who cut his teeth in a presidential campaign and his party’s near-three-decade-long statewide losing streak, O’Rourke was still a long shot, ultimately losing to Cruz by less than 3 percentage points (though votes are still being counted at the time of this writing). We’ve covered this race — one of the most watched in the country — on the ground for more than a year. Find all our reporting below and check this page for updates. Still want more? Subscribe to our limited-series newsletter on the O’Rourke/Cruz matchup — the final email in the series goes out Tuesday, November 13.
How Beto Built His Texas-Sized Grassroots Machine
O’Rourke turned to the top architects of Bernie’s campaign.
The Disconnect Between Ted Cruz’s Victory Speech and What Actually Happened in Texas
Speakers on stage overstated their hold on Texas.
‘I’m as Hopeful as I’ve Ever Been in My Life’
O’Rourke said goodbye to a crowd in El Paso, promising that “We’ll see you out there down the road.”
Beto Tried to Win a Texas That Doesn’t Quite Exist Yet
As I’m writing this, Cruz is ahead by more than 3 percentage points.
In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Volunteers Launch Last-Minute GOTV Efforts
The hope is that O’Rourke’s hometown will push him over the edge — if only they can get people to vote.
Win or Lose, Beto O’Rourke Has Provided a Blueprint for Texas Democrats
What’s that mean for Election Day and beyond?
The View From Louie Gohmert-Land
East Texas is a microcosm of Beto-Cruz race.
Beto Talks Texas Turnout in the Final Stretch
The Observer caught up with O’Rourke.
Inside Beto’s Plan to Turn Out Black Voters in Houston
Black activists are cautiously optimistic — but it’s a huge challenge.
Ted Cruz’s Do-Nothing Record
Cruz can’t help build the future because he’s focused solely on his present.
Cruz Stuck to the Script. Beto Stuck it to Cruz. Which Tactic Will Work?
O’Rourke finally got aggressive. Cruz stubbornly stuck to The Strategy.
Has the Beto Bubble Burst?
After a series of polls over the summer predicted a nail-biter, more recent numbers show a reversion to the Texas mean.
Can Beto O’Rourke Harness the Elusive Power of the College Student Vote?
The latest political phenom thinks he’ll be more effective at courting young voters.
Ted Cruz’s Fear Factory
Fear, revanchism and chauvinistic Texas tropes: Cruz’s re-election strategy might not be pretty, but that’s not the point.
Cruz’s Reaction to ‘New Jim Crow’ Comments Ignores the Racist Roots of Mass Incarceration
“I think it is offensive to call police officers modern day Jim Crow.”
Beto and Ted’s Competing Realities Collide for the First Time
As the first Senate debate showed, this race is quickly becoming defined by the politics of fear and resentment.
Beto’s Drawing Big Crowds in Small Towns. But What’s His Plan for Rural Texas?
O’Rourke’s rural platform looks to be cogent and cohesive, if still a little skinny.
Beto Bets on the Border
Will showing up with a high-minded call for border solidarity translate to the historic levels of Latino turnout that O’Rourke needs?
‘First They Came for Alex Jones’
Ted Cruz’s crusade against Facebook reaches a new extreme.
On the Road With Beto
Is O’Rourke’s personality-driven campaign reaching the right voters?
Ted Cruz and State Republicans Make Clear: This is Trump’s Texas Now
At the state GOP convention, Trump reigns supreme — and everyone knows it.
The Good News (and the Bad) for Beto O’Rourke in that Quinnipiac Poll
O’Rourke is still struggling with some of his inherent weaknesses.
Beto’s Not the Only Texas Democrat with a Big-Dollar Haul
The year’s first quarterly reports are in — and many Democratic congressional candidates are giving Republicans a run for their money.
Ted Cruz is Here to Remind You That He’s a Tough Texan
As he ramps up his re-election effort, the country’s least favorite U.S. Senator is still the odds-on favorite.
Inconsistent Showing in Democratic Primary Raises Questions for Beto O’Rourke
O’Rourke is scoring only 61 percent in his primary.
Can Beto O’Rourke’s seat-of-the-pants, DIY, break-the-rules campaign succeed against Ted Cruz?
Top illustration by Mel Westfall.