Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas

Cruz misses Senate votes to campaign in Texas
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine 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 TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt 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 McConnellMcConnell: 'It never occurred to me' convincing Americans to get vaccinated would be difficult The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal 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 votes to take up infrastructure deal Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division 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'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll 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