According to a new poll conducted by Emerson College for The Dallas Morning News, John Cornyn is not as poppin’ as a Republican incumbent senator in a state that has sadly supported the GOP in statewide elections since 1994 oughta be. Coryn can only boast a 37% job approval rating — while 31% disapprove and 33% of Texans had a neutral or nonexistent opinion.
If you’ve held your seat since 2003 and a third of voters don’t even care to offer an opinion about you, this is a problem, conservative beloveds. By comparison, Governor Greg Abbott enjoys a 50% approval rating.
Dallas Morning News political writer Gromer Jeffers wrote: “the news is not great for Coryn.” As Spencer Kimball, the Emerson College polling director, explained to Jeffers of Cornyn’s poll positions, “That’s not a good place to be. It shows that he’s vulnerable.”
The polling comes on the heels of a growing number of Texas Republicans in the House of Representatives announcing their retirement from Congress.
Those sudden announcements are largely believed to be sparked by fears of looming major losses from Republicans in the red state in light of Texas’ growing Latinx population along with suburban voters being turned off by the racist rhetoric of Sweet Potato Saddam.
“Trump has really turned out to be an accelerant for energizing young voters and voters of color,” Democratic pollster Zac McCrary told the AP in their story of the Texas GOP’s presumed peril. “And again at the same time, Trump has so deeply alienated suburban white voters in numbers that are mind-boggling.”
Yes, many of those suburban white votes can only stomach their racism delivered via innuendo or at least expressed in one’s inside voices. Everyone with sense knows “TelePrompTer Trump” is not the real Trump. The racist, bigoted, lazy thot who only wants to tweet vile things as he watches racist propaganda on Fox News or says them at Nazi-inspired pep rallies is. Thus, those “nice white people” living in the burbs will continue to be turned off.
To some, these recent events have served as nothing more than additional evidence in support of the sentiment that current Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke should abandon that campaign in favor of a second Senate bid. Those calls have been magnified in recent days thanks to O’Rourke’s remarks in the wake of the recent mass shooting in El Paso, where his former congressional district was based. I hate the circumstances that have given way to it, but I appreciate O’Rourke’s candor and displays of emotion in recent days.
O’Rourke was right to ask the political media class “What the fuck?” after one reporter asked a disingenuous question about Trump, the well established racist long known to be inciting. He was right to tell the El Paso Times that Trump should stay away from the city.
“He’s helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday,” O’Rourke said. “He’s helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal.”
He’s been equally as correct to further condemn institutions such as the New York Times and CNN for helping Trump get away with it by not depicting his overt displays of racism as is.
And he’s continued to call out racism elsewhere — all of which reminds me of the Beto O’Rourke at the peak of his popularity.
Yes, he’s fallen out of favor with many in the press as a result of his faltering campaign, but it’s still too early to be asking him to withdraw from the race. And while I’m not in the habit of defending white men like a magical Negro character featured in some white revisionist Hollywood production, I do wonder why would anyone ask this man to quit running for president right at the moment he’s gotten the hang of it.
In June 2016, Marco Rubio changed his mind and decided to run for reelection in the Senate after all once Donald Trump defeated him for the GOP presidential nomination. If O’Rourke decides to make a similar choice should he face a similar fate, let him figure it out then — he has time.
John Hickenlooper, another white guy running for president but who has a campaign much more pitiful than Beto’s, has reportedly left the option open to run for the Senate in Colorado according to an aide who spoke to CNN. If Hickenlooper can continue to embarrass himself, let Beto do his thing. It’s only August 2019.
Now, for those worried about an unpopular Cornyn sailing to reelection in 2020, here’s a thought: support some of the other candidates running for Senate from Texas — including a Black woman.
The Dallas Morning News’ new poll revealed that 51% of respondents had no choice for the Democratic Senate primary. It’s undoubtedly a disappointment to former Army helicopter pilot MJ Hegar, who’s been campaigning for most of the year — including in features like the New York Times’ feature “The Woman You Missed While You Were Paying Attention to Beto.” However, it’s an opportunity for those hoping to unseat Cornyn to boost campaigns like hers and that of Amanda Edwards, a Black city councilwoman hailing from Houston.
They deserve our consideration but aren’t getting much of it because some can’t stop pining for the man they presume to be the most electable. Surprise, surprise: that person happens to be a white guy. It’s malarkey, as one older white chap I wish weren’t running for POTUS might say.
The sense of urgency is understandable, but it is a disservice to ask Beto O’Rourke to drop his bid for the presidency in summer 2019 because not enough people believe women like MJ Hegar and Amanda Edwards can defeat Cornyn in 2020. There’s something to be said of candidates themselves boosting their profiles as O’Rourke did, but we must also contend with the reality that O’Rourke’s white manhood afforded him a much easier pathway to building a national profile — especially since he is a “woke” white dude who counts as political cute. Nevertheless, that can be countered with contributions to these women’s campaigns and helping bring greater attention to them.
If the rising fears within Texas Republicans is sparked partially by the rise of nonwhite votes, why not consider candidates with nonwhite faces? Beto O’Rourke may never run for senate again and he’s perfectly within his right not to. Rather than pressure him to do what others believe is the best choice, support the woman currently up for the task.