SAN ANTONIO — After a brief scare and a whole lot of liberal money flowing into Texas, Republicans think Sen. Ted Cruz has almost finished off his vaunted Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

While Cruz, R-Texas, and his allies are not saying publicly that they have the race in the bag, they are coming close with less than three weeks until Election Day and not even a week before early voting kicks off.

On Wednesday morning, Cruz told reporters that his opponent has grown "desperate." O'Rourke, D-Texas, had launched a trio of attack ads — on immigration, education, and healthcare — after leveling multiple broadsides in Tuesday night's final debate.

"This morning, the O'Rourke campaign released the dogs ... It's clear their their campaign pollsters ... have told them they're in trouble," Cruz said after holding a roundtable with law enforcement officers. "You gotta understand that his campaign is desperate, and so he's willing to say things in the TV camera that he knows aren't true."

Perhaps sensing the polls are moving in the wrong direction for him, O'Rourke leveled multiple personal attacks against the incumbent Republican. On one occasion, he called him "dishonest" while digging up President Trump's "Lyin' Ted" nickname from the 2016 campaign, saying it stuck "because it's true."

[Trump: 'Beto is a Flake!']

O'Rourke's attacks came despite telling reporters just over 24 hours before Tuesday's debate that he intended to continue to run a positive campaign in the final three weeks before the midterm elections, saying that he is "sick" of negative attacks.

"I won't go negative. It won't be personal. I'm not going to be partisan. I'm not going to be petty. People are sick of that stuff. I'm sick of that stuff," O'Rourke said. "And if I'm going to walk the talk, this is my chance to do it in the remaining 22 days with everything on the line. We're not only going to run this the right way, but we're going to win this the right way."

O'Rourke himself has seen his favorability numbers flip upside down in Texas despite the largely positive campaign. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, 47 percent of voters view O'Rourke unfavorably to 45 percent favorable.

As for Cruz allies and top Republicans, they are sensing that O'Rourke is nearing the end. Cruz's campaign revealed Tuesday night that a new internal poll shows them ahead by 11 points, all the while they hold a 7-point advantage in the latest RealClearPolitics average.

"Oh, that race is over," Texas Gov. Abbott quipped during an interview Monday before turning serious. "I think it's looking very good for Cruz ... When people go vote, they're really doing it on issues. There's a dramatic difference between the two candidates on policy positions. And ... when Texans go vote, they're going to vote based upon that difference, and Cruz is going to be in good shape."

One GOP strategist involved in Senate campaigns believes that despite running a near-perfect race in the Lone Star State, O'Rourke was never going to be able to bump off Cruz.

"He's got plenty of talent. He's got more than enough cash. But what he never had was a chance," the strategist said. "By any objective standard, Beto is a great candidate. If you listen to him talk, if you see how much money he's raising, read the profiles, he's the picture-perfect candidate by any objective standard. But the picture-perfect Democrat can't win in the picture-perfect Republican state."

[More: Beto O'Rourke won't share his $38M with fellow Democrats]

"It was over before it started, which is what should infuriate so many Democrats across the map who could use the resources that Beto is lighting on fire every day in Texas," the strategist added.

O'Rourke's cash advantage also remains a top-of-mind issue for political minds outside Texas as many find it hard to believe that he will spend all of the record $38 million he pulled in from July-August. According to one source with knowledge of Texas advertising, it costs just under $3 million a week to advertise in the big four markets and the second-tier markets that covers roughly 80 percent of the state.

"I'm not sure. But I'm sure his consultants have a pretty good idea," the strategist said. "Something tells me $38 million isn't going to end up on television. It's going to be a fraction of that."

Cruz's campaign laughed off the fundraising figure after the debate Tuesday, adding that they have more than enough money themselves with over $11 million in the bank.

"Quickly," said Jeff Roe, Cruz's chief strategist, with a laugh when asked how you spend $38 million. "I don't know. It's a lot."

Others simply believe the money will have no impact in the final three weeks. Abbott jokingly thanked donors nationwide for contributing to O'Rourke's campaign, which he said will do nothing more than benefit Texas' economy.

"It's one way we get to achieve wealth redistribution in this country — getting people in California and New York to share their wealth by spending it on Texas businesses, so it's just one more way we make more money here," Abbott said. "They could have spent the money on a night out on the town, instead they're lining the pockets of Texans with it."

"Will it make any difference in the outcome of the election? No," Abbott said. "Right down the drain."