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 says no legislation until Dems end probes Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' 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 CruzThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Senate GOP votes to permanently ban earmarks Jim Carrey fires back at 'Joe McCarthy wanna-be' Cruz 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 BidenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Castro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign T.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill MORE (D-N.J.).