Ted Cruz at a last-minute rally in Texas. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Sen. Ted Cruz has narrowly defeated Democrat Beto O'Rourke, defying all of the hype about whether Texas might turn blue. He had last-minute visits from both President Trump and Don Jr., which some Republicans think helped push him over the finish line.
Why it matters: There was an undeniable energy behind O'Rourke throughout the cycle, and that should give Republicans in the state some pause. But the polls, which consistently showed Cruz ahead, were ultimately right. Falling short of a win, Texas remains a Republican stronghold — even after O'Rourke raised a record $70 million in the 2018 midterm elections.