Cornyn predicts 2020 elections in Texas 'will be much closer' than in past years

Cornyn tells Dana Perino Texas races are 'seeing a lot of money coming in from out of state'

The results of the 2020 elections in Texas “will be much closer than traditionally it's been,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, predicted on Tuesday.

Cornyn told “The Daily Briefing” that so far Texas has had “a great turnout” in early voting, with 7.8 million people, or 46% of registered voters in the state, casting a ballot.

He then acknowledged that he believes Lone Star State Republicans have become “a little complacent since George W. Bush was elected governor in 1994.”

“We just elected Republicans in the general election and [former Texas Rep.] Beto O'Rourke came close [to winning a Senate seat] in 2018," Cornyn told host Dana Perino, "but we’ve been doing a lot of work since then, registering voters and getting organized because we expect a real fight."

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Perino then noted that Democrats “are getting a little bit of a boost” from billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is spending about $15 million on television ads for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Texas and Ohio, according to The New York Times.

The host asked Cornyn if he thinks that “will have an impact?”

“Undoubtedly,” he responded. “And that’s been what’s really happened this year. You see a lot money coming in from [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer and East Coast Democrats, the West Coast Silicon Valley billionaires have put in millions of dollars to support my opponent [Democrat MJ Hegar].”

Cornyn went on to point out that Republicans are “being outspent about 2-to-1 right now.”  

“That’s an unaccustomed experience for an incumbent Republican in a state like Texas,” he explained. “It’s a real fight out there, but we’re seeing a lot of money coming in from out of state, trying to change our state.”

Cornyn also referenced Biden’s recent fracking comments and said the fact that the former vice president has indicated that he wants to transition away from oil and gas, has gotten “a lot of people’s attention and threatens frankly hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in Texas so I think people are paying a lot of attention and are voting.”

Turning to Cornyn's own reelection bid, Perino cited a recent New York Times/Siena College Battleground Poll, which shows Cornyn with a 10-percentage point lead over Hegar 

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"I believe in running all the way through the tape," Cornyn answered when asked if he felt good about his chances.

“Ten points seems a little generous on behalf of The New York Times,” he continued. “I do think it’s closer, I do think we’re leading and I do think we’ll win, but we got to execute our plan and that means all the way through Election Day.”