Want to help kick Texas Republican John Cornyn out of the Senate this November?
Cornyn has voted with Trump 95% of the time, which is far more than one would expect from a Senator in a state growing more purple by the month. Those votes include ones to dismantle the Affordable Care Act; consequential as healthcare has emerged as a hugely important issue for Texans; and to block witnesses from the Senate impeachment trial, much less the votes to acquit Trump of those charges.
When Cornyn was re-elected back in 2014 (a midterm year), he won with 2.8 million votes, a far cry from the 4 million votes Beto O’Rourke racked up from Democratic voters in his (sadly) unsuccessful bid to flip Ted Cruz’s seat in the most recent midterm. The demographics of Texas have changed a LOT since Cornyn’s last election.
As for Cornyn’s job approval, as of last fall, 1/3 approved of him, 1/3 disapproved of the job he was doing, and 1/3 had no opinion of him. Trump’s approval in Texas is roughly even — half approve, half disapprove.
However, we should not make the mistake of assuming the seat will flip. Flipping an incumbent is not easy, Texas is a hard “get,” and the Republicans will spend any amount of money to keep Texas red. Not to mention the fact that as recently as January, Cornyn had $12 million in his campaign coffers. Also, recall that Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016 (and that was the worst margin for a Republican presidential candidate in decades.) It’ll take a lot of us working together to make sure a Democrat flips this Senate seat.
It’s important to remember that Texas has plenty of Democratic voters, it is just that they don’t turn out to vote at the level that they should. See –> Why Texas Voter Turnout is So Low and What Can Be Done to Reverse It
Who is running against John Cornyn?
Currently, there are 2 candidates headed to a runoff in the Democratic primary: MJ Hegar and Royce West. The runoff election is scheduled for July 14.
How you can help the Democrats flip this Senate seat
No surprise, it’s going to take good old fashioned organizing and investment.
1. Donate to flip Cornyn’s seat. Swing Left has a Texas fund that will be used to flip seats in the state, including the Senate seat. Of course, if there is a specific primary candidate you want to donate to, by all means do that. For those folks outside the state, Swing Left’s fund is a great way to support the eventual nominee without needing to know the details of Texas politics. Plus, this money will be crucial for the eventual nominee to have especially against the ton of outside money pouring into the state to help Cornyn get re-elected.
2. Sign up to do some text banking. Indivisible is targeting the Texas Senate seat as part of their Payback Project. Sign up to get notifications about upcoming texting campaigns.
3. Check for volunteering opportunities in Texas. MobilizeAmerica always has a variety of ways to get involved with voter registration events, campaign activities, engaging voters, etc. Just type in your zip code or city and see what’s available.
4. Support the Texas Democratic party. If you’re outside the state, you can donate to them, and if you’re in the state sign up to get their updates so you know when they’ll be running voter registration drives or need volunteers to help with a get out the vote effort.
5. Write letters to registered voters. Vote Forward has a letter writing project to reach registered voters in Texas who are not regular voters, and encourage them to vote.
6. Support Texas’ League of Women Voters. They organize voter registration drives and have events to inform and connect voters with the candidates.
7. Get involved with Battleground Texas. Sign up to get their updates, volunteer if you’re in the state, and promote their work on social media if you’re out of the state.
Do you have other ideas of how we can kick out John Cornyn and replace him with a Democrat in the Senate in 2020, particularly ideas for folks outside the state who want to help? If so, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!