Texas lieutenant governor urged for Trump to visit to bolster Cruz: report

Texas lieutenant governor urged for Trump to visit to bolster Cruz: report
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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick personally requested President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE get involved in Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump's Texas endorsement boosts a scandal-plagued incumbent while imperiling a political dynasty Trio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia MORE's (R-Texas) reelection to boost turnout amid an increasingly close race, Politico reported Sunday.

Patrick, who was chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign in Texas, reportedly asked White House officials during a July trip to Washington, D.C., about sending Trump to the state to campaign on Cruz's behalf. The lieutenant governor argued that an appearance from Trump would provide a necessary turnout boost for state Republicans, Politico reported.

The Hill has reached out to both Patrick and the White House for comment.

Patrick's reported request was soon followed by Cruz saying he'd "welcome" a visit from Trump during campaign season. Late last month, the president followed through, announcing he planned to hold a rally at "the biggest stadium in Texas we can find."

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The date and location of the rally has yet to be announced.

Trump and Cruz frequently exchanged barbs during the 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump labeled the senator "Lyin' Ted" and mocked his family, while Cruz called then-candidate Trump a "sniveling coward" and a "pathological liar."

Cruz is running against Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll MORE (D-Texas) in November's election. O'Rourke has generated significant enthusiasm among Democrats, raising millions of dollars in the process.

While Cruz remains the favorite in the solidly-Republican Texas, a RealClearPolitics average of polls shows O'Rourke within striking distance, trailing by roughly 4 percentage points.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpolitical election forecaster, shifted the race last month from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican."

Even some in the White House have acknowledged there is a chance O'Rourke could pull off the upset. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE reportedly told supporters at a closed-door meeting that it was a "very real possibility" that Republicans could lose the election in Texas.