In a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday, Senator John Cornyn now narrowly leads Democratic opponent MJ Hegar by 6 points, a 3-point drop from a Quinnipiac poll in July. This is the smallest lead Cornyn has had in a public poll thus far.
The Democratic Senatorial Committee also announced that they will spend at least $1 million to assist Hegar in her race against Cornyn, marking the committee’s first major investment in a general election race in the state this fall.
“This race is a dead heat, and our increased investment reflects how MJ’s campaign and the increasingly competitive climate has put another offensive opportunity on the map,” Scott Fairchild, the DSCC executive director, said in a statement.
Cornyn responded to the endorsement: “We are ready,” he tweeted. “This is a swamp-driven effort to make Texas kowtow to radical D.C. policies that are bad for our state and hard-working Texas families. #comeandtakeit”
In another poll by Global Strategy Group and Latino Decisions, the senate race is much more competitive, with Hegar trailing the three-term incumbent by just one point.
Last month Hegar advanced from a runoff against Dallas state Sen. Royce West — the DSCC had spent roughly $800,000 for her race in the primary.
Cornyn’s campaign has at least $14 million on hand, so the DSCC investment comes at an important time for the Hegar campaign to galvanize more support before November.
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman last month, Hegar expressed she is not worried but optimistic.
“We are a grassroots campaign with an average donation of $23,” Hegar said. “That shouldn’t be a threat to Cornyn but is a threat to Cornyn, and that’s because it’s just not money. We are confident we’re going to raise the resources because Texas is really done with John Cornyn. But, resources aside, we’ve got the voters and that’s really the bottom line. Cornyn gives us free advertising every time he opens his mouth or tweets something.”
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