FILE - This combination of Sept. 21, 2018, file photos shows Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, left, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, right, during their first Senate debate in Dallas. Win or lose Texas' high-profile Senate race on Tuesday, Nov. 6, both Cruz and O'Rourke probably still have bright political futures, perhaps even plausible White House aspirations. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool, File)

Win or lose, Cruz and O'Rourke may remain political forces

November 04, 2018 - 8:28 am

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Win or lose Texas' Senate race, both Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke probably still have bright political futures. Perhaps even plausible White House aspirations.

For O'Rourke, an upset, or even a close loss, could catapult him to national prominence, allowing the Democratic El Paso congressman to undergo the same transformation from longshot to political star nationally that he pulled off in his home state.

O'Rourke shrugged off such speculation and polls now show Cruz consistently ahead. But he could still win, or change his mind.

Cruz has made no secret about wanting to run for president again once President Donald Trump leaves power. He could do that from the Senate, or perhaps even overcome a loss to O'Rourke to try again — a la former Sen. Rick Santorum in 2012.