Ted Cruz won the Republican nomination for Texas' open U.S. Senate seat as a tea party insurgent and major underdog. Now he heads into the general election the prohibitive favorite and is busy reconciling with a state GOP establishment he long bashed as too moderate. Still, Cruz became a national symbol of tea party might when he upset Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a 14-year veteran of Texas politics endorsed by Gov. Rick Perry and much of the state GOP mainstream. Cruz's new opponent, former Democratic state Rep. Paul Sadler, says Cruz is a political novice who is too extreme for even a state as conservative as Texas where no Democrat has won statewide elected office in nearly 20 years. Cruz continues to campaign across Texas, striking a decidedly populist tone while pledging to reign in federal spending and get the "government's boot off the necks of small businesses." Early voting in Texas is open from Oct. 22-Nov. 2, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.