The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

According to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, Texas Republicans are clamoring for a more conservative alternative to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), leaving the minority whip deeply vulnerable to a primary challenge in 2014.

The poll finds that just 46 percent of Republican primary voters approve of Cornyn’s job performance, while 33 percent disapprove; a sub-50 percent approval rating is generally considered to be a warning sign for an incumbent, especially within his own party.

Just 33 percent say they want Cornyn to be the Republican candidate for Senate in 2014, while 49 percent say they want someone more conservative. This despite the fact that Cornyn was named the second-most conservative senator in 2012, according to The National Journal’s rankings. Apparently, the only member of the Senate who is not a “RINO” is Texas senator Ted Cruz.

When asked whether they have a higher opinion of Senator Cruz or Senator Cornyn, 62 percent selected Cruz, and just 23 percent said Cornyn. The two Texas senators reportedly have an increasingly frosty relationship due to Cornyn’s refusal to sign on to Cruz’s various stunts (most notably shutting down the government in a futile attempt to defund Obamacare), and it appears that Republican primary voters in Texas have taken Cruz’s side.

The good news for Cornyn is that no serious primary challenger has emerged as of yet. In a sign of just how far on the right-wing fringe one must be to represent a “conservative” alternative to Cornyn, PPP tested hypothetical matchups between the two-term incumbent and Rep. Louie Gohmert and pseudo-historian David Barton. Cornyn leads both comfortably (51 to 18 percent over Barton, and 40 to 31 percent over Gohmert). Much of that advantage may be due to Cornyn’s superior name recognition, however. And as Cruz proved in 2012, when he erased an 18 percent deficit to stun better-known lieutenant governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary, conditions can change rapidly in a small, conservative electorate.

Neither Barton nor Gohmert is currently planning a Senate run, but Cornyn’s soft numbers make it very likely that someone will jump into the race before the December filing deadline. And if Cruz — who has pointedly declined to endorse Cornyn for re-election — stands behind the challenger, then Mitch McConnell won’t be the only member of the GOP’s Senate leadership to find himself in a fight for his political life.

The poll surveyed 388 GOP primary voters and was conducted Nov. 1-4. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 5 percentage points.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Peggy Nienaber

YouTube Screenshot

Peggy Nienaber may provide her own downfall thanks to hubris. Rolling Stone revealed on Wednesday that the Christian fascist, who serves as vice president of the nonprofit anti-abortion group Faith & Liberty and serves as hate group Liberty Counsel’s executive director of D.C. Ministry, was caught bragging about praying with Supreme Court justices. While appearing on a livestream she didn’t realize was being recorded, Nienaber confirmed that she prays with some of the justices inside the Supreme Court itself.

“They will pray with us, those that like us to pray with them,” Nienaber said, adding with a laugh, “Some of them don’t!” This claim was backed up by the founder of the ministry that ultimately got absorbed into Liberty Counsel. Rob Schenck, who used to work alongside Nienaber, but has since renounced his actions. Yet from the late 1990s onward, he prayed with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Gov. Ron DeSantis

YouTube Screenshot

'We're not seeing a whole lot of common sense in his policies. He tends to toss aside serious ideas about climate change as just left-wing politics,' said Sierra Club Florida political director Luigi Guadarrama.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been energetically whittling away at civil rights in his state, pursuing anti-LGBTQ policies, pushing intolerance and censorship in schools, and restricting voting rights.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}