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 CornynTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test MORE (R-Texas) on Friday brushed off a record-breaking fundraising haul from Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Ex-Michelle Obama aide says O'Rourke's road trip is a 'listening tour' in form of a travel blog MORE (D), saying it won't be enough for the Democratic challenger to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science 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 CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (Tenn.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (Ariz.) are retiring from Congress. They're also hoping to unseat Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump’s shifting Cabinet to introduce new faces Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 Progressive strategist says changing demographics will help Dems MORE (Nev.), the only Senate Republican up for reelection in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
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 McCaskillThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Ex-Sen. McCaskill joins NBC, MSNBC Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Gary Cohn criticizes the shutdown: 'Completely wrong' EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE, respectively, are up for reelection in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity 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 KavanaughThe Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Merriam-Webster tweets out definition of 'suborn' after BuzzFeed report on Michael Cohen Abortion foes march into divided Washington 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."