A slew of Democrats are lining up to challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R) in Texas in 2020, showcasing the party’s optimism of flipping a Senate seat in the historically red state despite the likely uphill climb.
Seven Democrats have entered the primary, and one more could join in a state that has not elected a Democratic senator in more than three decades. Among the candidates are MJ Hegar, a military veteran who narrowly lost a House race last year and Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards.
The optimism is being driven by trends that appear to favor Democrats, including a growing diversity and a surge in transplants from neighboring blue states like California. Polls also show some signs of weakness for Cornyn as well as President Trump, further raising hopes of a win in a state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.
But taking out Cornyn, a three-term senator, will not be easy. Republicans view the large primary field as an advantage, arguing a potentially contentious primary could bruise the future candidate and use up money ahead of the general election.