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 CruzGOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal Cornyn takes on O'Rourke over AR-15s MORE (R-Texas) said Republican help to the Texas senator in his tight race against challenger Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeGOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff Cornyn takes on O'Rourke over AR-15s Poll: Cruz wins 3 percent of black vote, but 45 percent from Hispanics 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 MulvaneyPoll: Cruz up 9 in Texas Senate race Financial policymakers must be suffering from amnesia On The Money: Broad coalition unites against Trump tariffs | Senate confirms new IRS chief | Median household income rose for third straight year in 2017 | Jamie Dimon's brief battle with Trump MORE told Republicans at a closed-door meeting that it was a "possibility" that Cruz could lose.