Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke will be in Houston this weekend for the second of three scheduled debates in the hotly contested race for Cruz's U.S. Senate seat.
Sunday evening's one-hour debate from 6-7pm (CST), at the University of Houston is a town hall-style conversation where the candidates field questions from the audience.
“This tends to favor O'Rourke who spends a lot of time doing these town hall meetings, and it's something Sen. Cruz is less practiced at, he's better at the more rigid debate format so he needs to be on his game,” says Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at UH.
Rottinghaus will be there, and fully expects the Senate confirmation hearings to come up.
“All of the flare ups in Washington are all going to be right at Cruz's doorstep,” he says. “The very first question is likely to be about something that happened in Washington, very likely the Kavanaugh hearing, so it's definitely a case where we're going to see that come up.”
“Cruz is going to be on the defensive and that's going to be a challenge because he needs to be able to get away from that, to wiggle around it, and it's going to be tough because all eyes have been on Washington this last week.”
The pair will square off one last time in San Antonio October 16.
Here's video of their first debate: