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Axios 8 for 2018: Beto still faces an uphill battle

Beto O'Rourke rally
Supporters at a campaign rally for Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Despite raising $60 million, Beto O'Rourke — who's on our Axios 8 for 2018 list — still faces an uphill battle in turning Texas blue, per CNBC. For context, Sen. Ted Cruz has raised $35 million.

The big picture: "Despite his staggering cash haul and quick rise to national prominence, O'Rourke still appears to be an underdog. No recent independent poll has shown him closer than 5 percentage points behind Cruz," CNBC notes. Watch for early voting, which started this week in Texas, and whether Trump's visit to the state on Monday energizes Republican voters.