Here’s the latest news today out of Texas courtesy of Quinnipiac University’s latest poll:
In the U.S. Senate race in Texas, incumbent Republican John Cornyn leads Democrat M.J. Hegar among likely voters, 49 – 43 percent. Seven percent are undecided. On September 24th, Cornyn had 50 percent support and Hegar had 42 percent, also with 7 percent undecided.
Likely voters give Hegar a positive 33 – 26 percent favorability rating, while 39 percent say they haven't heard enough about her to form an opinion. In September, voters gave her a positive 29 – 19 percent favorability rating while 50 percent hadn't heard enough about her.
Likely voters give Cornyn a positive 42 – 30 percent favorability rating, while 26 percent say they haven't heard enough about him. In September, they gave him a 39 – 30 percent favorability rating, while 30 percent hadn't heard enough about him.
“While Cornyn maintains a lead, there are still two weeks to go, and you can't count Hegar out,” added Malloy.
And in the presidential race:
Today, Trump and Biden are tied 47 – 47 percent among likely voters. This compares to a September 24thpoll of likely voters in Texas when Trump had 50 percent and Biden had 45 percent.
Among those who will vote in person on Election Day, 62 percent support Trump and 32 percent support Biden.
Among those who are voting by mail or absentee ballot, 63 percent say they support Biden and 31 percent support Trump.
Among those who are voting at an early voting location, 48 percent support Biden and 46 percent support Trump.
“Biden and Trump find themselves in a Texas stand-off, setting the stage for a bare knuckle battle for 38electoral votes,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
Likely voters have mixed views of both candidates, but opinions of Biden have improved since last month.
Today, they give Biden a mixed favorability rating, with 44 percent saying favorable and 46 percent saying unfavorable. This compares to a negative 41 – 52 percent favorability rating in a September 24th survey.Today, likely voters give Trump a mixed favorability rating, with 48 percent saying favorable and 47 percent saying unfavorable, essentially unchanged since September's 49 – 47 percent score.
Likely voters are also mixed on whether or not either candidate has good leadership skills. For Biden, 48percent say “yes” and 46 percent say “no.” For Trump, 49 percent say “yes” and 48 percent say “no.”
Biden cares about average Americans, likely voters say 56 – 38 percent, while they are more divided on Trump, saying 51 – 47 percent that he cares about average Americans.
It’s true that Hegar shouldn’t be counted out. Other polling this week showed the race tightening:
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) October 20, 2020
A little-known super PAC seeded with Silicon Valley money plans to lead four other outside groups in a $28 million TV ad blitz to try to help Democrat MJ Hegar unseat Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
Future Forward’s own ads began airing Tuesday, according to ad-tracking service Advertising Analytics.
They’re part of a planned deluge of advertising for Hegar in the election’s final two weeks that’s being orchestrated by the super PAC’s leader, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, with assists from four other Democratic groups, the news site Recode first reported.
On Wednesday, Hegar’s campaign announced it began airing on Black radio stations across Texas a 60-second ad in which former President Barack Obama expounds on why he recently endorsed her.
In the ad, Obama extols Hegar’s record as a veteran who served in Afghanistan, a working mother who he said will defend the Affordable Care Act and a politician “firmly committed to making the reforms we need to address systemic racism and create a more fair and equitable America.” Hegar’s runoff opponent in the Democratic primary, Dallas state Sen. Royce West, an African American, has has not specifically retracted an Oct. 9 statement that he would not vote for Hegar in the general election.
The Obama spot will run in 14 cities, including Dallas, said Hegar spokeswoman Amanda Sherman.
Asked how much Hegar would spend on the ad, Sherman replied, “This is part of the seven-figure investment we announced to mobilize the Black vote.” She referred to buys that began Oct. 8.
Late last week, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska lit into Trump for spending “like a drunken sailor,” kissing “dictators’ butts,” flirting “with white supremacists,” disdaining organized religion, and being wildly corrupt. Over the weekend, Senator John Cornyn of Texas got in on the fun, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he had opposed the president’s spending, border wall, and Covid-19 response. But he claimed he did so privately and in secret, noting that public opposition led to ridicule and barbed tweets.
As for the Trump presidency as a whole, it has been a disappointment. Cornyn said it was “maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well.”
Sasse and Cornyn are both in the midst of reelection campaigns that may have influenced their decision to speak up. Sasse, having survived a primary challenge, is coasting toward reelection, which means he can safely say whatever he wants about Trump. Cornyn is fighting off Democrat M.J. Hegar, which means he’s feeling the need to distance himself from Trump’s cratering presidency.
But both are also previewing an absurd line we’ll hear again and again during Biden’s first term, should it come to pass: that Republicans didn’t really back the president. They’ll say they quietly opposed him, even as they voted with him nearly 100 percent of the time and supported him through numerous self-inflicted crises. It’s not a question of if they’ll do this, but when, with Sasse and Cornyn showing us that some Republicans aren’t waiting for the results to come in on Election Day. The big question is whether they will get away with it.
And a friendly reminder, Cornyn is a fucking idiot, especially on Twitter:
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: