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Ex-Cruz strategist: Beto O'Rourke forcing GOP to divert resources to Texas from other states

A former campaign spokesman for Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIncoming Dem lawmaker from Texas says Nielsen should be replaced as DHS chief Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Poll: Biden and Sanders lead 2020 Dem field, followed by Beto O'Rourke MORE (R-Texas) said Republican help to the Texas senator in his tight race against challenger Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeIncoming Dem lawmaker from Texas says Nielsen should be replaced as DHS chief Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Texas congresswoman-elect says southern border has 'never been safer' MORE (D-Texas) is diverting resources from other GOP candidates.

"The problem right now is that this is a close race," Rick Tyler, the communications director for Cruz's 2016 campaign for president, said on MSNBC.

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"This is anywhere between 0 percentage points and four points. It shouldn’t be. It should be a 10, 12, 15-point race."

Tyler went on to say that the race has turned into one where many groups have donated substantial amounts of money to Cruz's campaign — a move that diverts potential resources from other GOP candidates. 

“When you have Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity and the Koch Brothers all diverting resources from races they want to pick up on the Democratic side, moving that money and those resources to Texas, that keeps the Republican Party from competing in other states,” he said. 

Tyler noted that the competitiveness of this race is a product of O'Rourke's likability. 

"I think you got a candidate, Beto O’Rourke, who’s just been a very interesting candidate and has run a tremendous campaign. And he’s raised a ton of money," Tyler said. "He’s electrified the left."

His comments come as O'Rourke has gained momentum in his bid to unseat Cruz. While Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in three decades, a poll released by Emerson College last month showed that Cruz and the three-term congressman were in a statistical tie. 

Cruz led O'Rourke by just one point, according to the poll, well within the margin of error. 

Over the weekend, it was reported that White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDem House can put Main Street's needs over Wall Street's wants On The Money: Dow, S&P fall to close rough week for Wall Street | Brady appears to rule out lame-duck tax cut action | New payday loan rule coming in January On The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit MORE told Republicans at a closed-door meeting that it was a "possibility" that Cruz could lose.