One by one, several candidates hoping to be Texas' next GOP Senate nominee made their pitches to the Republican Party's forum in Erath County, just west of Fort Worth - but the few dozen voters packed inside the small meeting hall on a hot afternoon last week were getting antsy.
The next skirmish in the internal war over the direction of the Republican Party plays out in Texas next week, when primary voters choose a Senate candidate as tea party insurgent Ted Cruz is mounting an aggressive challenge to the establishment-backed candidate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
A new poll finds there are two tiers among the list of Texas Republicans scrambling to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: There's Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Then there's everybody else.
With a well-funded, centrist Houston mayor running for governor at the top of the ballot, Texas Democrats were hopeful that the party would defy expectations in the 2010 midterm elections and knock off the nation's second-longest-serving governor in one of the nation's reddest states.