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Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas

Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump wins CPAC straw poll with 55 percent 'SNL' envisions Fauci as game show host, giving winners vaccines 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 TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress 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 McConnellTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate 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 CornynSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees 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'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) 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