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 Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks MORE (R-Texas) on Friday brushed off a record-breaking fundraising haul from Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeSanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump MORE (D), saying it won't be enough for the Democratic challenger to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMichael Bennet declared cancer-free, paving way for possible 2020 run Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes O'Rourke sweeps through Virginia looking to energize campaign 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.
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 CorkerPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump Democrats introduce bill to rein in Trump on tariffs MORE (Tenn.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (Ariz.) are retiring from Congress. They're also hoping to unseat Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (Nev.), the only Senate Republican up for reelection in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnConservative groups defend tech from GOP crackdown Lawmakers weigh challenges in fighting robocalls Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal 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 McCaskillBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill Endorsements? Biden can't count on a flood from the Senate MORE and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE, respectively, are up for reelection in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll 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 KavanaughGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job 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."