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TX-Sen: “John Cornyn’s (R) fate may depend on whether voters give him a pass for standing by Trump”

3 min read

Erica Grieder at The Houston Chronicle has good piece out about U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s (R. TX) re-election bid against MJ Hegar (D. TX) is tied to Trump’s fate in Texas:

And in states where Trump is struggling, including Texas, a new question has come to the fore: Can Republican leaders who have stood by Trump these past four years be forgiven by voters eager to fire this president?

That’s a question that may determine a number of downballot races in Texas this year, and the 68-year-old senator seems to know it.

Cornyn, a Republican who also serves as Senate majority whip, has been generally if not ardently supportive of Trump since the latter’s election in 2016. The result is that Texas voters now see the two as linked. Several polls have found Trump in a virtual tie with former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas. Cornyn is not doing much better.

In recent weeks our state’s senior senator has been making the rounds trying to put some distance between himself and the president — or, really, to convince centrist voters in the Houston and Dallas suburbs, and the Rio Grande Valley, that such distance has always existed.

“Every race is too close for comfort. I’m not taking anything for granted,” he said. “We are seeing an enormous number of people voting which is a good thing. But obviously in the six years since I was last on the ballot, there’s been a lot of changes in this state.”

Hegar has raised roughly triple the amount of cash as the three-term U.S. senator has in the first two weeks of October.

“I think the thing that worries me the most is all this outside money coming into the race. It’s unusual,” Cornyn said.

Hegar voted early in Round Rock on Tuesday. She said she’s not making much of the polling.        

“I’m very confident. And I don’t look at polls because polls are not accurate in Texas,” she said.

Whether the money in this U.S. Senate race will make a difference is unclear, says SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson. What is clear is Democrats nationwide are spending a lot in Texas.

“Cornyn is running as if he thinks this race is closer than the polls show,” Wilson said. “The other thing it points to in this race is that Democrats have really focused up and down the ballot on Texas. An enormous amount of money has come into Texas this electoral cycle in an attempt to kind of put down a Democratic flag.”

And Hegar has been slamming Cornyn on this:

MJ Hegar, a Democratic Senate candidate from Texas, is using the Republican incumbent John Cornyn's 2016 quotes about the Supreme Court against him, using anger over his words to fundraise and gain voter support.

In 2016, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky refused to hold hearings for then-Democratic President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Cornyn was the GOP whip, effectively the party's No. 2 leadership position in the Senate, and he supported McConnell's decision. Cornyn called Obama a “lame duck” and said that election-year voters should have a say in the new justice by choosing the president who would appoint them, according to the Dallas Morning News.

It's 2020 now, barely eight days before the Nov. 3 presidential election, and Cornyn has been vocally supportive of the Senate Republicans' attempts to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court nominee of Republican President Donald Trump, barely 30 days after she was nominated.

Hegar is highlighting the difference in Cornyn's 2016 and 2020 positions in a new political ad. The ad shows Cornyn following McConnell away from a White House press event with a voiceover stating, “When [Cornyn's] party bosses call, he jumps to rush through a Supreme Court nominee.”

Click here to sign up to be a poll worker in Texas.

Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Texas Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Biden, Hegar and their fellow Texas Democrats campaigns:

MJ Hegar

Joe Biden

Blue Texas PAC

Texas Democratic Party

Texas House Democratic Democratic Campaign Committee

Lulu Seikaly

Mike Siegel

Sima Ladjevardian

Wendy Davis

Sri Preston Kulkarni

Gina Ortiz Jones

Candace Valenzuela

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