President Donald Trump isn't the only target of Democrats in Texas this year. While national Democrats dream of knocking off Trump in November, they're also hoping to upset three-term Republican Sen. John Cornyn. This week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced it will spend at least $1 million in support of MJ Hegar in her race against Cornyn. Hegar defeated state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) in a heated primary runoff last month to advance against Cornyn. Recent polls have shown Cornyn leading Hegar by at least six points, but the DSCC points to its own polling showing Cornyn only up by one.
Republicans don't appear to be too concerned about the race. "The money is going to make a difference, no question about it," says Orlando Salazar with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. "But the Democratic party in general is so extreme, that Texans are not gonna embrace that."
In particular, Salazar predicts Hegar will have a difficult time separating from the far-left platform of national Democrats. "She can try and paint herself as this former military person and that she has Texas values and all of that stuff, but those claims are going to be very hollow," he says.
For his part, Sen. Cornyn brushed off the big spending effort behind Hegar. Cornyn tweeted "We are ready," calling the DSCC's move a "swamp-driven effort," and ending the tweet with "#comeandtakeit."
Salazar believes Beto O'Rourke's close loss to Ted Cruz in 2018 has given Dems hope in Texas. "Beto sort of gave them a roadmap as to how to try to do it, but I think that was an anomaly...I don't think they're going to have the same success that they had with him," he says. "They might be making slow inroads in Texas...I don't want to get cocky or overconfident, but I don't think they're gonna come close."