Second Cruz-O'Rourke Debate Postponed

The SCOTUS confirmation controversy means Cruz can't come to Houston.

By Dianna Wray September 28, 2018

If you scored tickets to this weekend's debate between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, you're going to have to rethink your Sunday plans.

Houston may end up missing out on seeing Cruz and Democratic O'Rourke debate entirely, now that planned Senate votes on controversial U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh have prompted Cruz's camp to cancel the debate that was going to be held at the University of Houston on Sunday. (Update: the vote got moved to allow for a week-long FBI investigation, but by the time that happened the show had already been cancelled.)

That's a bummer, because it promised to be a hell of a show. The race between Cruz and O'Rourke has turned out to be full of surprises, mainly because O'Rourke has seemingly defied the rule of thumb that a Democrat simply can't get much traction for a statewide election in Texas. Instead, he's actually given Cruz a run for his money, doing well in the polls and creating national buzz over about the race, which has turned the three agreed-upon debates into must-see events. In response, Cruz has woken up to the fact that he may actually be in danger of losing his seat. He's now waging a tough fight to remind voters why they first sent him to Washington, D.C. in 2012, bringing out his best game, including some surprisingly solid skills on the basketball court. 

But where Cruz really shines is in a debate. During their first one, held in Dallas on September 21, the two candidates had an intense series of exchanges that saw Cruz relaxed and in his element as a champion debater while O'Rourke ended up on the defensive, frustrated to the point that the veins and muscles in his neck stood out at various points over the course of the evening.

It was going to be exciting to see this pair go at it again right here in the Bayou City in the second debate, but the contentious fight over Kavanaugh's confirmation has thrown a wrench into those plans. Cruz is going to have to stick close to D.C., hence the cancelation.

UH, Univision 45, and ABC-13 are working with the campaigns to find a time to reschedule the debate, releases announced Friday. However, it may prove tricky to reschedule the town hall-style style debate, because while the U.S. House of Representatives will be out of session to give members time to campaign for the midterms starting in October, the U.S. Senate will continue to cast votes for much of next month.

The third planned debate is set to be held on October 16 in San Antonio. Maybe things will work out and we'll get to see the candidates here first. 

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