SEN: News commentator and former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd is considering challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as an independent. Because of the high rate of straight-party voting in Texas, an independent run for a statewide office is a long shot at best. Further, no independent candidate and just 10 minor party candidates for U.S. Senate in Texas have ever received more than 1% of the vote.

Only one candidate not running as a Democrat or Republican has ever received 5% of the vote in a race to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate: Socialist Party candidate T.A. Hickey in 1916.

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