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TX-Sen: Ted Cruz defeats Democrat Beto O'Rourke

Ted Cruz celebrates with wife Heidi Cruz after his re-election win against Democrat Beto O'Rourke. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz secured another term in what became one of the most closely watched races in the country.

Texas voters have chosen Cruz over his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke hauled in more than twice as much cash as Cruz, but it still wasn't enough to get him to the finish line. Texas has not elected a Democrat in a statewide election in nearly 25 years.

"This election wasn’t about me and it wasn’t about Beto O’Rourke," Cruz said Tuesday night. "This election was a battle of ideas. It was a contest for who we are and what we believe. The people of Texas decided this race."

"This was an election about hope and about the future of Texas," Cruz continued. "And the people of Texas rendered a verdict that we want a future with more jobs and more security and more freedom."

The Cruz campaign raised just over $3o million from individuals and PACs between Jan. 1, 2017, and Oct. 17, 2018, according to the Texas Tribune. O'Rourke's campaign amassed a record-breaking $70 million from individual contributions during the same period, making it the most expensive Senate race in the nation.

Watch: Sen. Ted Cruz delivers his victory speech.

What happened during the race?

Early in the race, Cruz was considered a shoo-in against the largely unknown O'Rourke, but the race heated up after O'Rourke's fundraising efforts made headlines.

The two candidates squared-off in a couple of contentious debates in Dallas and San Antonio in September and October, respectively.

Cruz, an experienced debater, clearly laid out his case against his challenger during both face-to-face matches, highlighting the stark differences between the two candidates.

Cruz supports tax cuts, but O'Rourke would rather raise taxes.

The senator supports tougher border security, building a wall at the Texas-Mexico border, and ending birthright citizenship.

O'Rourke, out-of-step with the majority of Texas voters, opposed all those things.

The Democratic congressman tried to win by portraying an "average guy" image as he road-tripped thousands of miles across the state of Texas visiting every county. And he made the rounds on a number of talk shows, including “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and “The Ellen Show” with Ellen Degeneres.

In October, President Donald Trump fired up his base in the Lone Star State with a massive rally in Houston. He told supporters that “Beautiful Ted” Cruz had played a key role in helping pass his administration's policies.

What did the polls show leading up to Election Day?

Polls showed Cruz with an average of 6.5 percentage points over O'Rourke in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

This summer, polls showed the two candidates in a near dead heat, but by September, Cruz had begun gaining momentum over his liberal challenger.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

One last thing…
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