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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNBC on Friday that the GOP could face "a bloodbath of Watergate proportions" on Election Day if voters are feeling "depressed" about the economy and the pandemic.

The state of play: President Trump has sought to use the economy as a pivoting point from the pandemic throughout his re-election campaign. But if that pitch fails, it could spell trouble for Republicans.

  • Several GOP senators are facing tough re-election bids, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joni Earnst (R-Iowa) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

What he's saying: "I am worried. It’s volatile, it’s highly volatile ... if people are going back to work, if they’re optimistic, if they’re positive about the future, we could see a fantastic election — the president getting reelected with a big margin, Republicans winning both Houses of Congress and I think that’s a real possibility," Cruz said.

  • "But I also think if on Election Day people are angry and they’ve given up hope and they’re depressed, which is what [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer want them to be, I think it could be a terrible election. I think we could lose the White House and both houses of Congress, that it could be a bloodbath of Watergate proportions."

Go deeper

It's still Trump's party

Data: Axios research, ProPublica. (Non-voting members excluded). Graphic: Michelle McGhee and Sara Wise/Axios

He lied about the election being fixed. He incited an attack that left five dead at the U.S Capitol. He got impeached. Twice. But polling indicates Republicans still have his back — and views — by vast majorities.

Why it matters: Anyone who thinks Trump is a politically dead man walking appears pointedly dead wrong.

Capitol assault only one reason Trump impeached

A television in the White House briefing room shows the near-final impeachment vote against President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump didn't earn his historic second impeachment just by inciting a riot on a single day. He laid its foundation event by event during the two months preceding it.

Why it matters: Uneasiness built to rage among some Republicans as the president challenged the election results, blocked important legislative accomplishments and cost the party its hold on the Senate.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.