Beto O'Rourke vs. Ted Cruz

Getty Images  Carla Speigh  Tom Reel-Pool

Getty Images Carla Speigh Tom Reel-Pool

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was projected to narrowly win a second term Tuesday by defeating Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, who became a national media sensation during the campaign and benefited from an outpouring of outside donations and spending. But the battle with O'Rourke proved that many Texas conservatives remained angry after Cruz clashed bitterly with Trump in 2016 and refused to endorse him during the Republican National Convention.

After interviewing the candidates, Triumph (pictured on The Late Show) joined in with Cruz supporters to chant that he is a "lion of the Senate".

The contest is largely seen is a major indicator of Texans' views on President Trump and is seen as a predictor of how the state may vote in the 2020 presidential election. Polling has at times shown a close race, but Cruz has consistently led.

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In El Paso, on the other side of the state, O'Rourke told supporters he had called Cruz to congratulate him and offered to work with him to move Texas forward.

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But, he said, ultimately Texas had chosen a different path. O'Rourke argued that would help a Democrat win statewide. In contrast, Cruz raised $40 million.

But the Democrat also received some unwanted attention. "Beto O'Rourke, he's showing the f-ck up". The charge was later dismissed.

The tightness of the race meant Cruz had to lean on his former political rival - President Trump, whom he competed against in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. O'Rourke has garnered nearly unprecedented support in the red state, and polling in recent months has shown O'Rourke and Cruz virtually neck-and-neck.

"This election wasn't about me, and it wasn't about Beto O'Rourke", Cruz said.

Cruz picked up support in wide swaths of the Lone Star State, while O'Rourke carried urban areas like his home district of El Paso and progressive Austin. "I give [O'Rourke] a lot of credit for standing up and saying what he thinks and for being willing to represent so many people who are like minded".

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