Ted Cruz by two points.
Cruz went out of his way to paint O'Rourke as to the left of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. O'Rourke said Texas was ready for a senator who will protect the Second Amendment while imposing small restrictions to save lives and prevent mass shootings. "Cruz, for your public service".
"Thoughts and prayers, Sen".
"He's going to fight to raise your taxes", Mr. Cruz said. "I will pray for anyone in harm's way, but I will also do something about it".
The debate was feisty from the opening question, which was about whether "Dreamers" - young people who were brought to the country illegally as children - should be given a path to citizenship. O'Rourke said he believes Dreamers should be free from the threat of deportation and for them to become USA citizens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); O'Rourke did what he could to distance himself from modern Democrats. The Democrat responded by saying he would work with anyone at anytime, including the president. "When he speaks, people take that to heart", Murphree said, calling O'Rourke's remarks "insulting to me as a citizen of this state and as a police officer".
O'Rourke's candidacy was once viewed as the longest of long shots. They'll face off in Dallas at Southern Methodist University.
O'Rourke was pressed on his 1998 arrest for drunken driving, and he noted he did not attempt to leave the scene of the accident and called it a "terrible mistake".
Cruz and O'Rourke will face off again September 30 in Houston and October 16 in San Antonio.
Cruz and O'Rourke mixed it up over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, which O'Rourke has defended in comments that have received national attention. Cruz said survivors told him they do not want gun control and instead want more armed police officers in schools. A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University showed Cruz leading O'Rourke by nine points.
Cruz was asked how he had gone from his 2016 presidential primary battle with President Donald Trump - in which Trump insulted the appearance of Cruz's wife, Heidi, and accused Cruz's father of being involved in a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy - to being political allies now, with Trump planning a trip to Texas. It's frequently hit Texas political events since Trump announced plans to visit.
Such work would prove hard, Mr. Cruz said, given Mr. O'Rourke "has never talked to the president and wants to vote for impeachment".
That ignored Cruz drawing the ire of many Texas conservatives for refusing to endorse Trump during the 2016 Republican National Convention. President Trump has pledged to hold a rally in Texas with Cruz ahead of the election.
Things are likely to stay nasty in coming weeks.
O'Rourke in turn blasted Cruz for supporting massive deportations of illegal immigrants.
"True to form", O'Rourke replied.