SAN ANTONIO (CN) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sharpened his attack on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump Monday during a three-city blitz of his home state, where supporters declared the delegate-rich state "Cruz Country" hours before Super Tuesday voting begins in 12 states.
Cruz, along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and former Gov. Rick Perry, rallied supporters Monday in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston ahead of Super Tuesday where 595 Republican delegates are in play.
"It's great to be home," Cruz said at a standing-room-only auditorium in north San Antonio.
"We've got 24 hours, 24 hours until the end of Super Tuesday," Cruz said. "If you don't want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don't want to see Hillary Clinton as the next president, then stand with us on Super Tuesday."
Texas is a must-win state for Cruz if he wants to keep Trump, who has won three straight primaries and caucuses, from sweeping the March 1 primaries.
A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in late February has Cruz leading with 38 percent of the vote, followed by Trump at 26 percent.
There are 155 delegates at stake in Texas, more than any other state that has voted so far. Both parties will be assigning delegates proportionally, but the Republican Party allows a winner-take-all scenario if a candidate wins over 50 percent of the statewide vote, although polls indicate that is unlikely.
San Antonio resident Aseneth French brought her three children to see Cruz Monday afternoon in what was the family's first campaign event. She said the GOP race has been exciting so far and predicted a Cruz win over Trump in Texas on Tuesday.
"This is actually the first time that we've really followed the election, paid attention, and seen the importance of just getting the word out there to vote," French said. "At the end the Lord will triumph and Trump will not make it."
Over a million Texans have already cast ballots in the 15 counties with the most registered voters during the state's 11-day early-voting period that closed Friday. That's up from 2012 when 565,538 voted early, but about 85,000 votes shy of the record-breaking 1,193,576 ballots cast in 2008, according to the Texas Secretary of State.
Inside the San Antonio auditorium, and under the hall's disco ball, supporters waved signs that said "Cruzin' to the White House," and "TrusTed." About 20 minutes after the rally's 2 p.m. start time, chants of "We want Ted" erupted, but quickly dissipated after less than a minute.
"God bless Texas," Perry said as the one-time presidential candidate took the stage. He called Cruz a "consistent conservative" who could bring stability to the nation as president.
Mark Magallanez, 28, called Trump "just a reality star" and worried about the negative implications a Trump presidency would have on the Mexican-American community.
"I don't see anything serious about him," Magallanez said of the GOP front-runner. "When it comes to somebody like an underdog like Ted Cruz, I just take somebody like him more serious than somebody like Trump; it's like voting for Kim Kardashian."
Magallanez said he was turned off by what he described as racist comments made by Trump along the campaign trail and held out some Trump supporters as "closet racists."