Sen. John Cornyn is preparing himself for a big fight as Texas could be slipping away from the GOP.
Facing what could be a difficult re-election campaign in 2020, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is already stockpiling money out of fear that he could lose his deep red seat to a Democratic challenger.
Politico reports that Cornyn has already harvested $5.8 million in donations for his campaign, more than any other senator up for re-election in 2020. Cornyn recently hired his campaign manager and secured an endorsement from fellow Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who did not endorse him the last time he ran.
He has no idea which Democrat will be running against him, but Cornyn admits that he is afraid of what might happen.
"The tectonic plates shifted in Texas in 2018," Cornyn told Politico, "and I think everybody realized we need to do something different and to address those concerns or else we're in trouble."
Cornyn is referring to the close election in 2018 between Cruz and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, where Cruz won by only 2.6 points. in Cruz's first Senate election in 2012, he won by 14 points.
O'Rourke proved that a Democrat can put up a serious challenge in Texas, especially in an election where voters are motivated to vote against the Republican agenda.
So while Cornyn easily won re-election in 2014 by by 27.2 points, and Texas has not had a Democratic senator since 1993, Cornyn is clearly worried that the tide is changing in Texas.
In 2016, Trump won Texas by 9 points, down from Mitt Romney's 16-point victory over President Barack Obama. With its 38 electoral votes, Texas is the biggest red state in America, without which the Republican Party would almost certainly would not be able to win presidential elections.
And if Trump struggles in Texas, that could trickle down to Cornyn. Trump's approval is at 49 percent in Texas, and while that is higher than the national average, it's not saying much in a state that is supposed to be so reliably red.
In his interview with Politico, Cornyn took the time to point out areas in which he has mildly disagreed with Trump. But his voting record shows someone who has supported Trump 95.5 percent of the time over the last two years. That steadfast support might not sit well with Texas voters who are not enthusiastic about Trump.
"Cornyn has wrapped himself around Trump from the very beginning and he will be wrapped around Trump in the general election in 2020 by Democrats every single day," Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, told Politico.
With politics changing in Texas, and an unpopular president at the top of the ticket, Cornyn could be in trouble, and he knows it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.