Cornyn: Texas is no longer a ‘reliably red state’

Cornyn: Texas is no longer a ‘reliably red state’
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday that his home state is no longer “reliably red” and on the verge of becoming a swing state.

“Texas is no longer, I believe, a reliably red state,” Cornyn said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.  “We are on the precipice of turning purple, and we’ve got a lot of work to do to keep it red, because we lost, we got blown out in the urban areas. We got beat in the suburbs, which used to be our traditional strongholds.”

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Cornyn added that Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas) might not have been victorious over his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, during this month’s midterm elections without support in rural areas.

Hewitt noted that while Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020, he probably won’t face a Senate challenge from O’Rourke.

The El Paso representative signaled on Monday that he hasn’t ruled out a 2020 presidential run. 

Cornyn said O’Rourke lost in the Lone Star State because he is a “national Democrat.”

“Texas is still a conservative state. And even though it is trending more purple than red, and that’s something we have to pay attention to, and I intend to in 2020, but I think Beto’s got stars in his eyes, and he’s going to go for the big one,” Cornyn said.

O’Rourke lost to Cruz in a surprisingly close race earlier this month but his defeat sparked widespread calls among Democrats for him to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE.

The progressive star has earned the praise of former President Obama, who called O’Rourke an “impressive young man.”

If O'Rourke decides to enter the ring of 2020 Democratic contenders, he could face off in a primary challenge against possible candidates like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Sanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D-N.J.).