President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he will travel to Texas in October to campaign for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, an incumbent in a deep-red state who is facing an unexpectedly tough race for re-election.
The announcement of a presidential campaign trip more than a month in advance reflects the growing sense of panic among Republicans, who fear that a Senate seat once considered among the most solidly Republican in all of American politics could be up for grabs.
The reason for the GOP's panic is not so much that Cruz is doing poorly, per se, but that his opponent, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, is doing so well.
At 45, O'Rourke is considered a rising star in the national Democratic Party. But in the past month, his campaign has gone into overdrive, bolstered by a viral video of O'Rourke explaining why NFL players should be permitted to kneel in protest during the national anthem.