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Beto O’Rourke votes in Texas U.S. Senate race

The 46-year-old former punk rocker and three-term congressman captured the national spotlight and smashed an 18-year-old fundraising record — raising $61.8 million during his campaign, almost twice his rival’s $35.1 million — but significantly trailed Cruz in opinion polls for most of the year.

Their paths to Senate candidacy share a common root: O’Rourke declared his candidacy in an environment of rising liberal anger following Republican President Donald Trump’s rise to power, while Cruz, 47, was first elected to the Senate in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party fury over Democratic then-President Barack Obama.

The Senate seat is seen as one of Democrats’ few opportunities to pick up one of the two seats they need to gain to win a majority that would allow them to block Trump’s agenda, most notably his ability to appoint more judges to lifetime positions on the Supreme Court.

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