Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas

Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas

Senate Democrats’ campaign arm is set to make its first major investment in the general election fight between M.J. Hegar and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost cybersecurity of local governments, small businesses On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami MORE (R) in Texas. 

The seven-figure coordinated investment from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) includes spending on television advertising, polling, field organizing and data operations, the group announced on Tuesday.

The new spending was first reported on Tuesday by Politico

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It comes on the heels of an internal poll from the DSCC showing Cornyn and Hegar running neck-and-neck in the Texas Senate race, with the GOP incumbent garnering 43 percent of the vote to Hegar’s 42 percent. Another 15 percent of those surveyed were undecided. 

Democrats have grown increasingly confident about their chances in Texas this year, especially as polling shows a tight race between President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE in the state. 

The former vice president's campaign has already made moves in Texas, airing its first general election TV ads in the state last month. The campaign also announced a wave of new hires in Texas on Monday and rolled out digital ads to mark the first anniversary of the mass shooting in El Paso. 

Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. The last Democrat to win a presidential contest there was former President Carter in 1976.

The state has become a prime target for Democrats in recent years, however, given its rapidly changing demographics and the nationwide defection of suburban voters from the Republican Party. In 2018, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) came within 3 points of ousting Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' MORE (R-Texas) in perhaps the closest-watched Senate race of that cycle.

This year, Democrats are trying to recreate their 2018 momentum in Texas. Hegar, a former Air Force helicopter pilot, emerged as the party’s nominee after a run-off primary last month and has begun the process of consolidating Democratic support. 

Republicans believe that Cornyn still has the advantage in the race, pointing to his wide financial advantage over Hegar and other recent polls showing him ahead by significant margins. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as likely Republican.