Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas

Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE (R-Texas) missed votes this week as he spent time campaigning back in Texas, where he is running in a closer-than-anticipated Senate race.

The Senate cut its work week short, but before they did so the chamber held seven roll call votes to clear nominees for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE.

But the GOP senator skipped the votes. On Monday night Cruz had campaign stops scheduled into the evening, making him unable to make the Senate's Monday night bed check votes.

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Cruz also had a string of stops scheduled for Tuesday, missing votes and a closed-door caucus lunch in D.C. A Judiciary subcommittee hearing that was scheduled to take place on Tuesday afternoon and would have been overseen by Cruz was also postponed.

Cruz was also one of 15 senators who missed votes earlier this month, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTSA agents protest government shutdown at Pittsburgh airport The case for Russia sanctions Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE (R-Ky.) lectured senators about showing up for the rare August session.

A spokesperson for Cruz didn't respond to a request for comment on Wednesday about the decision.

Cruz wasn't the only senator absent for the votes and his decision to stay in Texas to campaign didn't change the outcome of the votes.

GOP Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, downplayed Cruz's absence, noting that it hadn't resulted in any nominations falling short of the support needed.

"We really haven’t had any close votes that have turned on a single senator’s absence or presence. I trust [Cruz] to make decisions in the best interest of his campaign and his service," Cornyn told Texas reporters.

But the missed votes comes as Cruz's November fight against Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeEx-Michelle Obama aide says O'Rourke's road trip is a 'listening tour' in form of a travel blog Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Former staffer accuses Jackson Lee of retaliation after rape claim MORE (D-Texas) has remained closer than expected despite Texas's status as a solidly red state.

The race has gained national attention and donations have poured in from around the country. 

O'Rourke is nearly even with Cruz in fundraising. He has raised $23.33 million compared to Cruz's $23.36 million so far, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Cruz also led O’Rourke by just 1 point, well within the margin of error, in a recent poll from Emerson College.

Cruz is leading by an average of 5.5 percentage points, according to a Real Clear Politics average