The midterm race between Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his lesser known Democratic challenger could come down to the wire. But Cruz may have just gotten the Texas-sized boost he needs to win.
President Donald Trump will be appearing with Cruz at a campaign event on Monday. The goal is simple: Rally voters to turn out for the GOP senator and keep liberal Beto O’Rourke from taking a vital Senate seat.
Every indication suggests that it will be a huge event. The Houston Toyota Center, a massive arena that is home to the Houston Rockets NBA team, is set to host the rally — and it has a capacity of 18,000 people.
If you think that’s a lot, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, if you’ll pardon the Texan.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a jaw-dropping 70,000 citizens have signed up to attend the Cruz-Trump rally. That’s right, 70,000, or almost four times the capacity of the stadium.
The number may reach 80,000 by the time Monday’s rally happens.
“By 7 a.m. Friday, 77,854 people had signed up for the rally, according to a person familiar with the matter. Attendees must have tickets to enter and will be admitted in the order in which they line up,” reported the Chronicle.
The event is expected to be so massive that police are already planning on closing roads and deploying extra personnel just to deal with the crowds.
“Police will begin closing off streets around the Toyota Center beginning at about 5:30 a.m.,” the newspaper reported, based on information from Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Acevedo also told the Chronicle that authorities were expecting people to be so enthusiastic about the rally that they’ll be lining up overnight, just to secure a place in the packed arena.
Security is obviously a major concern at any event of this scale, let alone one where the president of the United States is appearing.
“We will have many, many officers out and about,” Acevedo told the newspaper. “We will have officers on the high ground, low ground, in the air. We will have officers in plainclothes, we will have undercover officers, we will have react teams.”
Trump, of course, challenged and defeated Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary while often clashing with the Texan. The fact the two Republicans have buried the hatchet in order to team up shows just how important the upcoming midterm election is to the GOP.
As the days count down to the Nov. 6 election, Cruz and O’Rourke have been duking it out in the polls. The race appeared fairly tight in September, but Cruz has begun to pull away.
RealClearPolitics, which tracks several different polling groups, currently shows Cruz up by seven points against the Democratic challenger.
That’s a nice lead, but as the last presidential election showed, the only numbers that truly count are the ones on Election Day. Voter turnout matters, and conservatives like Cruz will need every vote they can get.
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