AUSTIN — After months of back and forth, the two men vying to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate finally faced-off in the first of three debates Friday, September 21st.
The race between Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke is close. Even the latest polls are at odds over who's in the lead. And that's a big deal in a state where a Democrat has not won a statewide election since 1988.
"We're going to see in November, record breaking Democratic turnout," Senator Cruz told his supporters during a rally in Webster.
But Senator Cruz still has an edge.
"Here's the good news," he continued, "this is Texas."
Looking back at voter turnout in previous elections, republicans have outnumbered democrats by 500,000 to 900,000 voters.
Congressman O'Rourke is trying to get people to see beyond red and blue.
"We're for people. Not parties, not corporations, not special interests. People," he said speaking to reporters at Texas State University. "And it's going to be the people of Texas who allow us to achieve these ambitions that we've described."
Those ambitions were part pf the topics of Friday's debate, which was focused on Domestic policy. And like many things, it's a subject that the candidates who don't exactly see eye to eye on.
The 60-minute debate was held in Dallas at Southern Methodist University at 6 p.m. CDT.
There were five watch parties happening around Austin for the debate:
Black Star Co-op from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Full Circle Bar from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Takoba from 5 p.m. to midnight
The Brixton from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.