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>> Lifelong Republican, Bill Martin, who owns more than 20 firearms and has been shooting guns since age six, says he's considering the once unthinkable, voting for a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in Texas.>> Not only me, but other family members are contemplating switching sides. And I don't think any of us have voted for a Democrat in decades, but he was that impressive.
>> The candidate he's impressed with is Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke. His long-shot bid to take conservative Republican Ted Cruz's Senate seat in Red Texas, suddenly a tight race with less than 50 days to go before this year's midterm elections. But how does a former musician and unabashed liberal who posts videos like this make inroads on issues like gun control in a state that loves its guns?
>> Reuters' Tim Reed is in Texas to examine how the mood is shifting on the issue.>> Now O'Rourke's been on the campaign trail, telling voters that there needs to be common sense gun safety reforms in a state that has the highest rate of gun ownership in the US
>> Cruz has been telling voters that O'Rourke is out to get your guns>> He is for gun control and undermining the rights of law-abiding Texans to own firearms He has an F rating from the NRA>> Now the interesting thing is, the gun owners I've been talking to in Texas, many of them don't agree with Cruz.
They don't buy his argument and they're actually agreed with O'Rourke that there needs to be gun reform, because they're sick to death of the spate of mass shootings in the US. And not only that, they're actually going to vote for O'Rourke because they agree with him so strongly on this issue.
>> That sentiment shared by Bill Martin, who said, he liked O'Rourke's calls to keep firearms away from dangerous individuals and didn't believe he was out to get his guns.>> I'm a very strong believer in the 2nd Amendment. I'm a member of the NRA. But I do believe that we need to come to some kind of a middle ground that would keep guns out of the hands of people who have been committing these terrible atrocities in schools and other places.
There's gotta be a better way than what we're doing now.>> An O'Rourke win in Texas would also be a huge win for Democrats in Washington, who have a long-shot bid of their own to take control of the US Senate.