Cruz, Dewhurst make last push before runoff

Published On: Jul 30 2012 04:57:22 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 30 2012 05:05:14 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

Some people are calling the Republican primary for the Texas U.S. Senate nomination a battle between the tea party and moderate Republicans. The outcome of the race could change Texas political power for years.

One day before the runoff election, former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz appeared calm and confident. Most polls show him leading Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by a wide margin.

"There is a level of enthusiasm and excitement," Cruz said. "It is inspiring to be campaigning all across Texas."

A few months ago, political analysts predicted Dewhurst would win the Republican nomination in a landslide. But Dewhurst has struggled to gain traction and connect with some Republican Party voters.

Dewhurst spent Monday campaigning around the state. He stopped at a Chick-Fil-A in Austin to promote the values of traditional marriage. The fast-food chain has been at the center of controversy after its owner said he supports traditional marriage.

"Keep in mind, in 2003 I led the legislation for defense of marriage," Dewhurst said. "It's law now. Marriage is between one man and one woman."

The race is being closely watched around the country. It's considered one of the nastiest with controversial campaign commercials. It's also been expensive. Dewhurst has spent $26 million of his own money on the race. Cruz has been getting money and support from tea party conservatives, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Cruz said he predicts that the election results will send a message.

"This race is ground zero in the conservative tidal wave sweeping this country," Cruz said.