The vote tally is coming in for the Texas GOP Senate runoff between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst, and all indications point to a surprise Cruz victory in the contest.
Just 18 months ago, Cruz was a long-shot to win the Texas Senate seat, but now he looks poised to pull off the biggest upset until now in the 2012 election by taking down the well-known lieutenant governor David Dewhurst.
In a poll released Monday, ahead of the runoff, Cruz held a 10-point lead over Dewhurst.
For live results of the election, see here.
A Cruz victory represents a major rebuke to Texas governor and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, who has supported Dewhurst, and a major victory for Sarah Palin, who has supported Cruz. According to the Public Policy Polling survey, 31% of voters say they would vote for a candidate endorsed by Palin, compared to only 24% who say they're more likely to vote for Perry's choice.
But there's also one other Republican candidate presidential candidate who is likely to see a boost as a result of the Cruz victory: Ron Paul.
Both Ron and his son Rand Paul actively campaigned for Cruz and publicly endorsed him. Both Ron and Rand advocated for Cruz even though he is a Tea Party representative (not a libertarian) because they see him as an ally in the fight for liberty. “The revolution is working, we have infiltrated the Republican Party, and we will convert the Republican Party to defenders of liberty,” Rand Paul said at a rally several months back.
“You have a candidate in Ted Cruz, I hope you’ll give him a chance, if you give him a chance you’ll have a real hero from Texas and you need one, he understands the constitution and what it’s about,” Rand Paul said.
Ron Paul has thrown his support behind the Tea Party candidate, rather than Dewhurst, because Cruz has lambasted the direction of the Republican Party in the last decade. “The best thing to happen to the Republican Party was to get its teeth kicked in in 2008,” Cruz said.
Ron also opposes Dewhurst for failing to stand up to TSA when legislators last year tried to pass a bill prohibiting intrusive airport pat-downs. Cruz said that if elected he would support eliminating the U.S. Departments of Education and Energy, the National Endowment for the Arts and the IRS.
For live election returns and results from Texas, follow along here.