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Cornyn: 'All the money in the world' won't help O'Rourke win Texas

Cornyn: 'All the money in the world' won't help O'Rourke win Texas
© Anna Moneymaker
Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThis week: Congress starts lame-duck with leadership fight Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Congress braces for high-drama lame duck MORE (R-Texas) on Friday brushed off a record-breaking fundraising haul from Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeIncoming Dem lawmaker from Texas says Nielsen should be replaced as DHS chief Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Texas congresswoman-elect says southern border has 'never been safer' MORE (D), saying it won't be enough for the Democratic challenger to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIncoming Dem lawmaker from Texas says Nielsen should be replaced as DHS chief Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Poll: Biden and Sanders lead 2020 Dem field, followed by Beto O'Rourke MORE (R-Texas).
 
O'Rourke's campaign announced Friday that he raised more than $38 million during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Cruz, who is seeking a second Senate term, brought in $12 million during the same three-month period.
 
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Cornyn — who has at times had a strained relationship with Cruz but is supporting his campaign — acknowledged that O'Rourke raised "a lot of money," but he predicted Cruz will still win when voters head to the polls on Nov. 6.
 
"I think all the money in the world is not going to help Beto at this point because I think he is self-identified as a national Democrat, which means he's way too liberal to get elected in Texas," Cornyn told reporters.
 
O'Rourke, who was elected to the House in 2012, has pledged not to take money from PACs in his Senate bid. In a video posted to Twitter he said the third-quarter funds came from more than 800,000 contributions.
 
Cornyn said "adoring [media] coverage" explains part of the enthusiasm for O'Rourke's campaign.
 
"He's obviously captured a lot of people's imagination and the ability to raise money through these portals — like ActBlue, small donations — is obviously allowed him to raise a bunch of money," Cornyn said. "Good for him, but I still don't think he's going to win."
 
O'Rourke is considered an underdog in his race against Cruz, despite his fundraising numbers.
 
A survey from Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday found Cruz with a 9-point lead. It's the same edge Cruz had in the same poll three weeks ago.
 
Cornyn said the poll is "probably in the ballpark" for the race, but predicted Cruz will "win by double digits" next month.
 
Cruz has a 7-point lead over O'Rourke in the race, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polling.
 
Cruz and O'Rourke have been locked in a tighter-than-expected campaign for months, bolstering hopes among Democrats that they might be able to flip the seat.
 
In addition to Texas, Democrats are trying to pick up Senate seats in Tennessee and Arizona, where GOP Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Juan Williams: Trump's hostile takeover of the GOP Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal MORE (Tenn.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Former NY Times book critic: I take back my positive review of Jeff Flake's book Majority say Trump should face primary challenge, poll finds MORE (Ariz.) are retiring from Congress. They're also hoping to unseat Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerElection Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Sinema invokes McCain in Senate acceptance speech Sinema defeats McSally in Arizona Senate race MORE (Nev.), the only Senate Republican up for reelection in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
 
Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnDems vow swift action on gun reform next year Blackburn calls for addressing mental health issues after California shooting Dems to ramp up oversight of Trump tech regulators MORE (R) is leading the Tennessee race by more than 5 percentage points on average, according to RealClearPolitics. But a New York Times/Siena College poll released Friday had up her 14 points over Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen, a former governor of Tennessee.
 
Cornyn added on Friday that he was feelingly "increasingly optimistic" that Republicans would hold their majority in the Senate, where they currently have a 51-49 advantage over Democrats. He pointed to Tennessee as well as races in Missouri and North Dakota, where Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMellman: The triumph of partisanship The Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampMellman: The triumph of partisanship GOP nerves on edge after Sinema takes lead over McSally Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems MORE, respectively, are up for reelection in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE won by double digits in 2016.
 
"All of the races seem to be moving in our direction," said Cornyn, who gave some credit to the recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMellman: The triumph of partisanship Pavlich: Where is Brett Kavanaugh’s apology? Trump tweets about Diwali, draws criticism for not mentioning Hindus in initial posts MORE. "I just think the Kavanaugh hearing was important. But it's not just that, but the realization of who would be in charge if, in fact, Democrats did win the majority."