The Lone Star State figured to be another state in which the Senate race featured a primary battle more interesting than the general
election. With incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn almost assured of victory in November, one would have to look to the
GOP nomination contest for any drama here. But there may not be much drama there either.
Unlike his colleague Ted Cruz, Cornyn at times has not garnered the favor of conservative groups. His decision to side with
Republican leadership on Capitol Hill during last fall's government shutdown battle has put him at odds with the state's Tea Party
voters. As a result, a large field of Republican challengers has emerged to oppose his nomination. The most well-known of
the bunch is Congressman Steve Stockman. His late entry into the race was a bit of a surprise, and his campaign has not enjoyed
an impressive start.
He has stumbled out of the gate with little money and has struggled under charges of questionable ethics. With a massive
warchest at his disposal, Cornyn has wasted little time attacking Stockman. His super-PAC opened the new year with an ad
characterizing Stockman record as 'shady' and 'troubling.' Apparently, despite having a 44-point lead over Stockman in a
mid-December poll, Cornyn is taking the Congressman's challenge seriously.
Cornyn's posture may stem from the fact that Texas is a runoff state. If he fails to reach 50% of the vote +1 in the March
4 GOP primary, he will have to face his closest competitor in a primary runoff in late May. That would give Stockman, should he place second, another 2 1/2 months to eat into Cornyn advantage.
If Stockman can't shed the shadow of controversy and raise a lot of money quickly, however, I don't foresee Cornyn needing to
worry about a runoff. It looks to me like he'll earn a majority of the primary vote and go on to enjoy a very large majority of the
general election vote in November.
Preliminary projection: Solid GOP Hold
You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the
Texas Senate Election
page for polls, projections and updates. Also, check out the
2014 Senate Elections page for a
summary of all Senate races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Senate map.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:26pm 01/24/14 :: link