Texas Dem voters would rather see O'Rourke run for Cornyn's Senate seat than 2020 presidency

Texas Dem voters would rather see O'Rourke run for Cornyn's Senate seat than 2020 presidency
© Greg Nash

Most Democratic voters in Texas would rather see former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) challenge John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE for his Senate seat in 2020 than continue his run for the White House, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Sixty percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said the former Texas congressman should abandon his presidential ambitions for 2020 and pursue Cornyn’s Senate seat instead.

Less than half as many respondents — 27 percent — said he should continue his run for the White House, the poll found.

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O’Rourke also placed second among the slate of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination, taking 16 percent support of those polled. The figure is roughly half as much as that of frontrunner and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden evokes 1968, asks voters to imagine if Obama had been assassinated Biden blasts Trump's 'embarrassing' actions heading into G-7 summit Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates MORE's, who notched 30 percent support in the Quinnipiac poll.

Still, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country MORE (I-Vt.) trails O’Rourke in the poll by only 1 point, well within the poll’s 5.8 percent margin of error for Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters.

O’Rourke gained national prominence last year during his closely watched, though unsuccessful, bid to oust Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIs this any way for NASA to build a lunar lander? GOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE (R-Texas). The close race ultimately prompted speculation over whether O'Rourke would jump into the presidential race or mount a second Senate bid in 2020 against Cornyn, who is up for re-election.

O’Rourke announced in March that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination, quashing hopes of a Senate campaign. So far, a handful of Democrats have jumped into the race to challenge Cornyn, including M.J. Hegar, a retired Air Force major and former House candidate.

But O’Rourke’s campaign has struggled to gain the same kind of traction that his 2018 Senate bid did, lingering in the low single digits in recent national polls.

In recent weeks, he has appeared more frequently on national television and has rolled out a handful of policy proposals, as he looks to regain momentum in the primary contest.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from May 29-June 4, among 1,159 Texas voters and includes surveys of 407 Democratic and Democratic leaning voters in the state.