CNN Analyst: ‘Unfortunately’ Majority of Polls Show O’Rourke Losing to Cruz

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The hourlong debate at Southern Methodist University focused on domestic policy.

"Ms. Ford's allegations must be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, full stop", Mr. O'Rourke began his comments.

Later, when Cruz tried to say O'Rourke wanted to abolish the Second Amendment, his opponent said that wasn't so, and the candidates sniped while the moderators pleaded for them to stop and for the audience to stop hooting. "Imagine the stain on our conscience". The state "needs a senator who will work with the president where we can and stand up to him where we must", O'Rourke said.

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Asked Friday about Trump's 2016 criticism, which included making fun of Cruz's wife's appearance and suggesting that his Cuban-born father had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Cruz said, "I could have chosen to make it about myself", but instead he said he worked with Trump to further Texas interests. Democrats need to win a net total of two additional seats to take the Senate and 23 to assume the majority in the House.

O'Rourke's candidacy was once viewed as the longest of longshots.

If Democrats win control of either chamber, much of Trump's agenda would be stymied and his administration would be subjected to greater scrutiny.

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The candidates also differed regarding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which has engulfed Washington recently with a thinly sourced allegation of sexual misconduct by Mr. Kavanaugh more than three decades ago made by Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor. A Quinnipiac poll showed the gap between the two as wider, with Cruz receiving 54 percent support among likely voters and O'Rourke receiving 45 percent support.

Alternating yard signs for Cruz and O'Rourke line the front lawns in the neighborhood, which is not unlike other areas of the country where Republicans find themselves on defense in 2018, facing voters that have traditionally voted Republican but may be disillusioned with the first years of the Donald Trump presidency.

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