Senator Ted Cruz and representative Beto O’Rourke will debate Tuesday evening October 16 8 p.m. Tuesday at the KENS5 Studios in San Antonio. The candidates will answer questions about domestic and international issues, according to KENS. Sarah Forgany of KENS and Jason Whitely of WFAA in Dallas will moderate the event.
Situation of the Race
The situation of the race has changed considerably from the first debate to the two candidates had at SMU in September. At that time, the race was quite close and some polls indicated O’Rourke was ahead. That close status added to the nationalizing of the O’Rourke campaign helping him gain publicity on several national media outlets. Moreover, a record $38 million poured into O’Rourke’s campaign-- vastly surpassing the incumbent Cruz. To some extent, the popular perception nationally that a major conservative Republican candidate like Cruz could be beat by a relatively unknown Democrat captured the imagination of the national political left. Despite those two positive developments for O’Rourke, the campaign appears to be moving decisively in the direction of Cruz. Major polling indicators such as Real Clear politics suggest that Cruz is now 9 points ahead in the polls. The first debate appears to not have helped the O’Rourke campaign surge ahead in the polls. O’Rourke appears to prefer the solitary campaign approach to the recurring debates. The original second debate for Houston was not re-scheduled when the Kavanaugh hearings de-railed Cruz’s presence at the event.
CNN proposed a townhall event between the two candidates near the time of the San Antonio debate. Cruz has refused and counter offered that the two men should have a debate instead of a townhall. Currently, CNN is planning to provide an uninterrupted one hour town hall for O’Rourke in Texas. Townhall events are controlled by the media hosts and the individuals in the event are screened by CNN before they can appear at the event. The individuals within the event are also chosen by CNN. CNN has engaged in considerable controversy in relation to the Cruz campaign. Don Lemon-- a CNN host-- made dramatic points about how interrupting Cruz and his wife at dinner in DC is part of protected First Amendment speech.
The San Antonio debate may be the last debate of the two candidates.
What O’Rourke needs to do:
What Cruz needs to do: