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What You Need to Know about the Political Views of Texas Senate Candidates Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

As many of you know, Southern Methodist University has partnered with NBC 5 and The Dallas Morning News to co-host the first debate between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz before the Midterm Elections.

Image of Beto O’Rourke via NBC News


Democrat candidate Beto O’Rourke was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After getting his degree from Columbia University, he started a small technology firm. Outside of his firm, he became involved in the civic issues of the El Paso area and was elected to the El Paso City Council in 2005, where he served two terms. In 2012, he ran for Congress and served on the Committee for Armed Services and Veteran Affairs. 

Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After earning degrees at Princeton and Harvard Law, he worked as an attorney until 2000, and then moved on to serve as a campaign advisor for George W. Bush. In 2012, he was elected to the U.S Senate and in 2015, he announced his decision to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, where he lost to President Trump. 


Image of Ted Cruz via San Diego Tribune


O’Rourke and Cruz are the Democratic and Republican candidates, respectively, running to represent Texas in the U.S Senate. I’m sure you’re as curious as I am as to know how their views stack up in comparison to what you believe. I’ve researched their views on five important issues in society today, so keep reading to find out who is right for you!

1. Women’s Rights

Cruz: Advocates for the end of federal funding of Planned Parenthood, against abortion unless the pregnancy endangers the mother, not in favor of guaranteed access to contraceptives.

O’Rourke: Supports a woman’s right to choose, supports policies that guarantee access to contraceptives, wishes to expand Medicaid and fund family planning centers, supports Title XI. 

2. Gun Safety

Cruz: opposed to legislation that would infringe on the right to bear arms.

O’Rourke: Supports requiring background checks on all gun sales, stopping the sale of weapons of war, supports federal research on gun violence, opposes Concealed Carry Reciprocity.

3. Healthcare

Cruz: Supports repeal of Obamacare and the implementation of market-based changes that would make healthcare more individualized.

O’Rourke: Supports improving Obamacare, expanding Medicaid, lowering premiums and prescription costs, and achieving universal healthcare coverage.

4. Immigration

Cruz: Wants to stop President Obama’s Amnesty Act, secure the border, and build a system that celebrates legal immigration into the United States.

O’Rourke: Wants to end the militarization of the immigration enforcement system, pass the DREAM Act, modernize the visa system, and reform immigration laws to legalize the status of immigrants already living in America.

5. Jobs

Cruz: Plans to Implement pro-growth policies such as the American Energy Renaissance Act, which gives the private sector more opportunity for growth, and protect the internet from heavy taxing because that too is a part of the economy 

O’Rourke: Plans to increase federal spending on infrastructure, protect the Earned Income Tax Credit, promote the Family and Medical Leave Act, and invest in apprenticeship programs for vocational training.

Image Via RealClearPolitics


I hope that it has given you enough information to be an informed voter and vote for whoever you believe is best equipped to represent you in the Senate as a Texan. Voting is a beautiful part of the checks and balances of the government, and I hope you participate!

Election Day is November 6 and the last day to register to vote is October 9.

Why The Texas Senate Race Matters | Why You NEED to Vote in the Midterm Elections

Jaymie is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. She is most definitely addicted to coffee and loves glitter, flowers, and all things fuzzy. A true El Paso native, she is a huge fan of Khalid, appreciates some good Mexican food, and loves hiking. catch her on Instagram: @jaymiepaigeruddock
We are the SMU Team.