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Beto O'Rourke talks early voting, says "we need to see record turnout"

Cruz battles O'Rourke
Trump rallies for Ted Cruz amid tight race with Beto O'Rourke 02:06

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the telegenic Democrat who is running to unseat Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, says that "record turnout" will be his key to victory. Monday was the first day of early voting in Texas, and although O'Rourke has been trailing Cruz in recent polls, he hopes he can get a boost from enthusiastic first-time voters. 

"We need to see record turnout and as you're seeing here today, so many people are telling us it's the first time they voted," O'Rourke told CBS News' Nancy Cordes in Houston on Monday. "They've just become a citizen, they're forty years old, they've never voted in an election in their lifetime, but they're voting now. They only vote in presidential years, they're voting in a midterm for the first time. A lot of those folks are not reflected in the polls, but they're reflected at the polling site. And that's what's most important. That's how we win."

The Houston Chronicle reported on Monday that a "shocking" number of people turned out to vote on Monday, creating "a scene that looked more like a Black Friday shopping morning" in the Lone Star State's most populous city. And given Houston's Democratic lean, the long lines could bode well for O'Rourke. Meanwhile, President Trump will be holding a campaign rally Monday night with Cruz in Houston. Mr. Trump is calling O'Rourke "overrated" and now has a couple of new nicknames for Cruz, formerly called "Lyin' Ted" by the president. Mr. Trump, as he was preparing to depart for the rally, said he and Cruz are now friends, and he refers to him as "Texas Ted." 

Asked by Cordes about the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico, O'Rourke said that the U.S. should make sure it honors applicable asylum laws and address the underlying causes of migration. He suggested that should the caravan reach the U.S. border, some people in it should be reviewed for asylum. 

"I think we need to do everything we can to address the underlying conditions in the countries from which those caravans come," O'Rourke said. "Honduras in this case, but Guatemala and El Salvador, work with the country of Mexico to see if we can provide for those one the caravan there in that country. But if we try to decide this at our border, it's almost too late at that point. So, let's work with our, with our partners in these other countries, let's make sure that we honor our own asylum laws."

If someone has nowhere else they can go to protect their families, themselves, and their kids, we have laws in the books, bars that they have to pass over -- including credible fear -- to ensure that they're following our laws, there's order in terms of how people come."

The full interview with O'Rourke will appear on Monday's "CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor."

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