Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running against the incumbent Senator Republican Ted Cruz in Texas. He is polling as a generic Democrat against Cruz mainly because most voters don’t really know a lot about him or his political positions. This could make him a threat to Cruz in what is generally a pretty red state that reflexively votes for whoever has an R next to their name.
This poll was paid for by End Citizens United, a Washington D.C. based political action committee that first became active during the 2016 presidential election. The focus of this organization is on campaign finance reform and they only endorse political candidates who make a pledge to make reforms in the law that will result in big money being removed from the system.
The results of the End Citizens United poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, showed that Beto O’Rourke trailed Ted Cruz by just eight points. Similar results have shown up in other surveys. 61% of Texan voters didn’t have an opinion on O’Rourke while when it came to Cruz 49% were unfavorable of him and 38% were favorable.
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Beto O’Rourke is rejecting money from political action committees funded and by special interest groups. He only accepts money from individuals, especially grassroots people who don’t give a lot individually but collectively can support a campaign. He says that he will only work for the people, not corporations or special interests. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, has taken $1.3 million from corporate-backed political action committees and other special interests. He also recently voted to give them enormous tax breaks.
It is likely that Ted Cruz will win but Democrats have been on a roll flipping political seats blue ever since the presidential election. There have been plenty of Republicans expected to win that have been crushed when the votes come in. So, Ted Cruz really shouldn’t be too comfortable dismissing the End Citizens United poll as an outlier.
End Citizens United was formed to nullify the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that resulted in unaccountable money pouring into the political system. They ruled that corporations, like people, had first amendment rights which meant they could give however much they wanted to politicians. This also applied to very wealthy people who had at least some limits on what they could donate to any particular political campaign.
With the removal of these limits by the Supreme Court, the political system has been highjacked more than ever by wealthy people who put in place politicians who solely serve their interests. End Citizens United seeks to return power to the people by limiting this unlimited buying off of politicians so that they will at least listen to regular people once again.
Visit endcitizensunited.org for more details about this organization.