By Raegan Turner | Staff Writer
Tuesday night marked the announcement of final election results for the Senate race in Texas. Incumbent Republican Ted Cruz once again found favor in the eyes of Texas residents and was victorious over his opposition, El Paso native and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, by a small margin of 2.6 percent statewide.
Baylor students had mixed reactions to the news. Some, like Sugarland sophomore Joshua Lozano, were decently pleased with the outcome. Lozano supports Cruz because of the politician’s stance on taxes, immigration and gun control. He is looking forward to the future as Cruz continues in his former position,
“Provided that he gets legislation passed, I definitely think Cruz will affect Texas, especially the economy. It will be in a better place as a result of things he wants to implement like energy independence and less taxes, which will lead to more spending money for the individual,” explained Lozano.
Those at Baylor who did not back the Republican candidate reacted differently to the news of Cruz’s win. Houston sophomore Edgar Gonzalez, the vice president of the Baylor Democrats, supported O’Rourke throughout the senatorial election. Gonzalez expressed his disappointment, but not shock, at the turnout,
“Like many who supported the Beto campaign, I was distraught by the election results, though I can’t say was deeply surprised at first, given Texas’s reputation as a red-state. Since then, though I am still saddened by the defeat, I’m looking forward to seeing what this election says about the future of the state. Especially when noting just how close the election was relative to previous Texas Senate races,” Gonzalez said.
Many online also shared this view. During the time spent counting votes in Texas, residents of McLennan County were active on Facebook. The Baylor Lariat’s page saw a dialogue between two women in the comments that expressed both disappointment at O’Rourke’s loss and frustration at non-Cruz supporters.
Lariat reader Suzanne Peauroi replied to an earlier comment on the site made by Baylor graduate Becky Stevenson. “Becky just because people don’t prefer Beto does not make them haters of any kind. I’m proud to be a Cruz supporter and am nothing you mentioned. Stop drinking the kool-aid and actually be open to discussions and ideas. Name calling and judging does not convince anybody of anything nor does it make you sound mature or intelligent,” Peauroi said in the post.
Stevenson had posted how disturbed she was at the ‘hatred’ shown by Texans towards of multiple minority groups underneath a polling update made by the Lariat that showed Cruz in the lead.
Reactions were varied both on and off campus for the Baylor and the Waco communities.
Curt Nichols, associate professor of political science at Baylor, conveyed his advice to rejoice in the fact that students are free to vote and to refrain from instigating dissension.
“Whatever one’s particular take on the outcome of the election, I would encourage all Baylor students to do two things,” Nichols said. “First, celebrate America’s democratic processes. We are lucky to live in a land where ballot boxes and not bullets are used to determine the winners of political conflict. Second, I would encourage everyone to fight against the ignorance that suggests one’s political adversaries are more than just wrong but rather they are so wrong as to be illegitimate. As Yoda might say — this, the road to the dark side, it is.”