New York Times Reports Beto O’Rourke Could Win Over an Unlikely Support Group: White Evangelical Women

White Evangelical Women like Emily Mooney may hand victory to Ted Cruz's challenger.

Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz

White evangelicals remain the base of the Republican base, with a majority of them happy to excuse Donald Trump’s lying and infidelities and crudeness and general lack of anything resembling Christian values as long as he picks anti-abortion judges. But there’s evidence of at least a little erosion of rock-hard Republicanism among evangelical women in Texas, the New York Times reports:

“I care as much about babies at the border as I do about babies in the womb,” said Tess Clarke, one of Ms. Mooney’s friends, confessing that she was “mortified” at how she used to vote, because she had only considered abortion policy. “We’ve been asleep. Now, we’ve woke up.” [...]

“I keep going back to who Jesus was when he walked on earth,” she said. “This is about proximity to people in pain.”

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Rep. Beto O’Rourke, running for Senate against Ted Cruz, is doing some careful outreach to women like Tess Clarke and her friends, including doing a podcast segment with a popular evangelical woman author. O’Rourke’s ability to appeal to such women—even if some of them are keeping it hidden from the men in their families—may be one more reason Republicans are pulling out all the stops to back Cruz, despite the fact that most people who know him dislike him, with John Cornyn, Cruz’s fellow Texas senator, doing a fundraiser for him hard on the heels of campaign visits by Donald Trump Jr. and Mike Pence.

In another sign of the tight spot Cruz finds himself in, the vaunted college debater who previously challenged O’Rourke to five debates has backed out of a CNN town hall event, leaving O’Rourke with an hour-long televised town hall all to himself. Not exactly what confidence looks like, but it’s true that the contrast of smarmy, smug, oily Ted with charismatic Beto might not be to Cruz’s benefit.

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Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.