After a hard-fought primary, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst will face former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in a runoff on July 31.
The Dewhurst team was hoping to avoid a one-on-one runoff with Cruz, a staunch conservative who has been traveling the state for months attending debates, forums and town hall meetings in a vigorous grassroots campaign. Dewhurst’s approach has tended to avoid grassroots forums and debates, relying instead on broadcast media. Dewhurst’s air war has been particularly notable for its barrage of negative ads leveled at Cruz and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.
When the votes were counted on Tuesday, Dewhurst’s strategy was effective enough to gain him a first-place finish in the primary, but not enough to gain him the 50% plus 1 required for an outright win. With 99.62% of the votes counted, the numbers stand as follows:
This one-on-one battle between an establishment moderate and a young movement conservative is the latest in the conservatives’ broader war against the GOP establishment, echoing the hard-fought battles in Pennsylvania, Utah, Florida, Nebraska, Indiana and elsewhere. We can expect that all eyes will be trained on Texas for the next 60 days. If past experience is a reliable indicator of future results, Dewhurst is in serious trouble, and may soon be joining the likes of Arlen Specter, Bob Bennett, Charlie Crist and Richard Lugar.
Full statewide election results here: