Ted Cruz Rallies Supporters at Fort Worth Stockyards

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FORT WORTH -- We all know Texas is a red state.  C'mon, we're gonna vote for a Republican in 2016. So, it's time to fan the conservative flame, right? That's why Republican Senator Ted Cruz was throwing red meat to a hungry crowd at the Fort Worth Stockyards Thursday.

Cruz played up his Texas roots and promised a staunchly conservative approach to the presidency.

The large crowd ate it up, but it's still not expected to be a "cruise" to the White House for the senator. He's currently tied for third in a crowded GOP field, at around 8% according to a poll released Thursday.

But Cruz and his supporters downplayed any doubts, pointing out that it was a challenging road to his Senate seat as well.

To gain the Republican nomination, Cruz will have to dethrone Donald Trump who sits on top of the heap with 30% of Republican support.

Trump might have won over some critics Thursday when he signed a "GOP Loyalty Pledge," promising not to run as a third-party candidate and to back any candidate Republican delegates choose.

But back in "Cruz Country," folks are hoping the Trump road show hits a bump and voters turn to Cruz instead.