By my unofficial count a couple of weeks ago, driving north on Harrison Street from Interstate 40 to 34th Avenue, there were 13 houses with white Ted Cruz signs in the front yard. There were 11 houses with black Beto O’Rourke signs.

It can look like a drive-by checkerboard. Cara Young lives on Harrison. Her brother brought a Beto sign for her parents, who live next door. Young’s father thought it best in his calling not to be overtly political to drivers, so he passed.

But Young said put it in her yard, especially when a neighbor directly across the street had a Cruz sign.

“I like that he’s not divisive,” Young said. “He has a lot of integrity that not a lot of politicians have.”

About seven blocks north, Cruz supporter Matthew Darrah is in a Beto sandwich, his white Cruz “Strong as Texas” sign between a pair of Beto signs.

“I like my neighbors,” Darrah said. “This one over here, she’s super sweet.”

Darrah mentioned his wife’s vehicle was parked off the Harrison Street last year, but still got hit and was totaled. That Beto neighbor to the north offered her car to use until they got another one.

“That was an awfully nice gesture,” Darrah said.

This Cruz-O’Rourke Senate showdown is something Texas hasn’t seen in nearly a quarter-century - an actual statewide race between a Republican and Democrat that’s something beyond a red rubber stamp for the R candidate.

An early morning run through Julian last week revealed 10 homes with Cruz signs, seven with Beto and one for the bipartisan Tascosa Heating and Air. So all three were espousing hot air.

What’s interesting is Beto signs in what would in the past sure look like Republican-icky homes, if you will. We’ve got the Montagues and Capulets, Hatfield and McCoys, the Rebels and the Sandies often sharing the same alley dumpster.

Amarillo is no outlier. It is about the same across the state in a U.S. Senate race that will be the focus of the nation on the Nov. 6 mid-term election.

“Definitely people in other states are glued to this one,” said Dr. Dave Rausch, Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science at West Texas A&M. “My dad lives in small town in Pennsylvania and he knows about as much on this race as people in Texas. This is one the country will be watching.”

In the past - the past being the last 30 years or so - this should be a lay-up or a slam dunk for someone like Cruz. He’s the conservative Republican incumbent against a young Congressman from El Paso with a liberal track record.

The last Democrat to win a statewide race was Ann Richards as governor in 1994. The last Democrat to win a Senate seat? Four-time incumbent Lloyd Bentsen when he defeated Amarillo’s Beau Boulter in 1988.

In the past, this would be 60 percent runaway for a Republican incumbent. Most of the public can’t even tell you the name of the Democrat opponent in a statewide race, much like Texas governor Greg Abbott’s race against what’s-her-name.

But Cruz is campaigning for his political life against an opponent that has raised nearly $40 million. Not so shockingly, Cruz has gone almost all negative with his TV ads - a tell-tale sign of a concerned candidate.

And now he’s making nice with his old presidential primary campaign adversary, President Trump. If you remember - and I’m sure you do - President Trump took to calling Cruz’s wife Heidi “ugly” during the 2016 presidential campaign while insinuating Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination.

In Trump’s infamous tweets two years ago, he took to calling Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” said he had done nothing for Texas as a U.S. Senator and why would anyone vote for him anyway?

Now that’s a pretty terrible trifecta of accusations - ugly wife, murderous father and a liar.

But here the two will be together on Monday at a rally in Houston, hands clasped no doubt, and confusing any and all who want to be open-minded about what exactly is going on.

Oh, yes, President Trump. That’s one big reason this is an actual race.

“In part, we have to look at the invisible candidate,” Rausch said, “which is the president. In the past in Texas, with a Democrat president, a Republican in Texas didn’t have to run that hard because voters needed him to keep the president in check.

“Here, the question is if anyone can keep the current president in check. Plus, always for a new president, that first mid-term is going to be rocky for his party.”

In this campaign, Cruz has tried to paint O’Rourke too liberal for Texas. O’Rourke has sought to portray Cruz as a selfish politician simply using the Senate seat as another springboard for the White House and out of touch with the needs of Texans.

Actually, the two sides stances - and those of their supporters - could be summed up this way:

“I’m not a Democrat.”

“I’m not Ted Cruz.”

But in the end, come election night, Cruz will likely prevail. Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Cruz with a 9-point lead.

“I don’t see O’Rourke winning the election, but he’s making it closer than it should be,” Rausch said. “If Beto won, it would make a tsunami look like a ripple.”

Cruz won’t win by that nine points, but probably somewhere around 53 percent to 47 percent, about the difference in my highly scientific yard sign search. I don’t see O’Rourke picking off enough unsatisfied moderate Republicans or the undecideds.

But that it this close in still a red state like Texas says something, more than anything it says just highly polarized and divided we are - right down to the neighborhoods.

Jon Mark Beilue is a former columnist of the Amarillo Globe-News.