John Cornyn Still Leads In Senate Race, But Undecided Voters Could Shift The Balance

A recent poll found that 34% of Texas voters are undecided, which could be an opportunity for Democratic candidates MJ Hegar and Royce West.

By Jill AmentMay 8, 2020 12:34 pm, ,

Despite the pandemic, election season is still underway. A recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn has a solid lead over two Democratic challengers in the Texas race for Senate. MJ Hegar of Cedar Park and Royce West of Dallas will meet in a July runoff election. But Cornyn’s lead isn’t insurmountable.

Bob Garrett, Austin bureau chief for The Dallas morning News, told Texas standard Friday that both Democrats trail Cornyn in the poll by “low double-digits.”

“In November matchups, Cornyn [beats] Hegar by 13 points and West by 11,” Garrett said.

Between the two Democrats, Hegar leads West among several demographics: white voters, independent voters who lean Democratic and seniors. Hegar has also raised more money than West, and has been endorsed by “rising star” Democratic congresswoman from Texas, Veronica Escobar; also, by former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

But West leads among black and young voters. Prominent Democrats have also endorsed him, including former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and progressive former Senate candidate from Texas, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez. The race also seems to be much closer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where West is from.

“West seems to have a few pockets of strength,” Garrett said.

The pandemic has made it hard for both candidates to campaign since they aren’t holding public events. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an opportunity to beat Cornyn, since a large portion of the Texas electorate – 34% – are undecided, Garrett said.

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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