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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 CornynBiden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip 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 BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE's, who notched 30 percent support in the Quinnipiac poll.

Still, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst 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 CruzTomi Lahren says CPAC attendees clearly want Trump to run in 2024 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' 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.