John Cornyn

No Clear Front-Runner Has Emerged Ahead of Texas Democratic Primary for US Senate

The race appears to be up in the air with about one week to go before early voting begins

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Early voting ahead of Super Tuesday begins Feb. 18 with no clear front runner in the Texas Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Contrast that to the beginning of 2018, when former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso was on his way to visiting all 254 counties in the state. He became a fundraising machine that year, eventually out-raising Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“He became a phenomenon. There is no one in the Democratic field this time who shows that kind of political ability, that ability to generate enthusiasm and fundraising,” said SMU political science professor Cal Jillson.

This time around the top two candidates, according to a recent Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll, are combat veteran M.J. Hegar, and State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). In the poll, Hegar was at 8%, and West came in at 6%. No other candidate broke 5%.

Hegar has about a $1 million the bank, and West has about $500,000, according to The Dallas Morning News. Jillson said the 2018 was unusual, and this race is not.

“This is a very traditional Texas senate race with an experienced incumbent, all the money he is going to need against a Democratic field in which no one has broken out,” Jillson said.

“Texas Democrats don’t know who their U.S. Senate candidates are and don’t care," Cornyn's press secretary Krista Piferrer said. "We will be ready for whichever Elizabeth Warren clone emerges from the runoff in May ."

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