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Cruz, O'Rourke agree to hold three debates in Senate race

The Hill logo The Hill 9/14/2018 Chris Mills Rodrigo
Ted Cruz wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) are slated to hold three debates in their Senate race in the lead-up to the November elections, the campaigns announced Friday.

The candidates are set to appear in debates between Sep. 21 and Oct. 16. Each debate will be one hour long and they are scheduled to take place in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Both campaigns have wrangled over the number of debates they would participate in before November, with polls showing the nationally watched Senate battle remaining close less than two months from the election.

In April, O'Rourke challenged the incumbent GOP senator to six debates. Cruz countered two months later by suggesting holding five debates in October. O'Rourke rejected that proposal, which had all five debates happening on Friday evenings during high school football.

Democrats have increasingly eyed the race as a potential pickup opportunity, despite Texas being a deep-red state.

A CBS Dallas-Fort Worth/Dixie Strategies poll from Wednesday showed Cruz with a 4-point lead over O'Rourke, 46 percent to 42 percent, with 11 percent undecided and a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

The election has received national attention in recent months, with progressives hailing O'Rourke including following a viral video in which he defended NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

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