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

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

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBlack lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory The Senate is where dreams go to die Federal government to observe Juneteenth holiday on Friday 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 CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East 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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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 BidenExpanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: The center strikes back Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden, Harris send well wishes for Father's Day The U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerCongress must act to correct flaws in the First Step Act Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers MORE (D-N.J.).