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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 TrumpTrump vows 'No more money for RINOS,' instead encouraging donations to his PAC Federal judge rules 'QAnon shaman' too dangerous to be released from jail Pelosi says Capitol riot was one of the most difficult moments of her career MORE get involved in Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Major offshore wind project update | Biden to propose revocation of Trump bird rule | 12 states sue Biden over 'social cost' of greenhouse gases The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - Relief bill to become law; Cuomo in trouble GOP stumbles give Democrats new hope in Texas 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'RourkeTexas Republican criticizes Cruz for Cancun trip: 'When a crisis hits my state, I'm there' Progressives target 'Cancun Cruz' in ad to run on 147 Texas radio stations 'Get off TV': Critics blast Abbott over handling of Texas power outages following winter storm 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 MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief MORE reportedly told supporters at a closed-door meeting that it was a "very real possibility" that Republicans could lose the election in Texas.