Democrats looking for an actual victory in Texas

A “moral victory” in Texas won’t be good enough for Democrats who now are officially licking their chops at the prospect of knocking off a first-term Republican U.S. senator.

Beto O’Rourke is challenging Ted Cruz. The fact that Texas’s U.S. Senate seat is part of the national discussion on the eve of the midterm election is stunning enough all by itself.

However, O’Rourke and his supporters aren’t likely to settle for coming close to Cruz. They think now they have a chance to actually knock the Cruz Missile off his launch pad.

Poll after public opinion poll is saying essentially the same thing: O’Rourke has closed the gap to a dead heat, enabling the challenger to chip away at what was supposed to be an insurmountable lead in this most Republican of states.

Republicans believe the race is still Cruz’s to lose. I’m not sure about that. I cannot predict that O’Rourke will win. I am reading the same polls that others are reading. I am not involved in the campaign. I don’t know what the O’Rourke troops are doing in the field.

I’m just astonished that O’Rourke is continuing the strategy he has employed since the beginning of the fall campaign: He is traveling to rural counties, talking to voters one on one. He continues to visit counties where Cruz figures to do well. He is taking the fight straight to the incumbent.

As for Cruz, he has gone negative. O’Rourke hasn’t yet gone there. I don’t yet know what his plans are as Election Day draws near. Hey, I’m just a spectator out here, watching this race unfold right along with the rest of the state.

My gut tells me that a “moral victory” won’t be enough. If, after all this campaigning has ended, and Beto O’Rourke falls short of Ted Cruz’s vote total — even if it’s by just a handful of ballots — I fully expect there to be profound disappointment.

“Wait’ll next time” won’t be good enough to assuage the wounds.

O’Rourke wants it. Bigly.

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