WASHINGTON -- Texas has been a deep red state for decades now, making it a difficult place for Democrats to make inroads, but that could be changing.
What You Need To Know
- New polls show Trump’s numbers are down
- Trump’s polling impacts Cornyn
- Cornyn’s job approval rating dropped
While President Trump won the state handedly in 2016, new polls show there could be trouble for Republicans in this fall’s elections. Trump’s numbers have slipped as have those of incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, according to one recent survey.
Ron Eisenberg of San Antonio is one voter abandoning his previous support for Cornyn. He’s working on an op-ed critical of Cornyn, saying the senior senator isn’t the same candidate he voted for in the last election.
“What I’m writing is Cornyn has walked away from the people who sent him there,” Eisenberg said.
He supported Cornyn and other Republicans in the past — and even worked in Washington for a GOP senator years ago. Now he’s backing one of the Democratic challengers -- Hegar.
“Where I am now, I was a Republican and in the last election, switched and am now a Democrat,” he said.
One big factor in his decision he says is Democrats have more to offer the average voter. He opposes Cornyn’s policies on health care and gun control, as well as taxes and the deficit.
For him, Cornyn is tied directly to President Trump’s policies, which is a turn off.
“He’s become a Trump lackey,” he said.
His friend Suzanne Hildebrand disagrees.
“I’ve known John Cornyn longer than President Trump has and he is nobody’s lackey,” Hildebrand, a San Antonio resident, said.
She says philosophically she considers herself a Republican, although she doesn’t always vote a straight ticket. She’s supported Cornyn since he was a district judge.
“I believe he always does what he thinks is right,” she said. “I don’t always agree with him, there have been issues where we don’t agree. But overall I’m happy with his representation.”
Cornyn remains a favorite in the race to keep his seat, but Democrats are hoping voters like Eisenberg will turn on the Republican and give them an outside shot at winning the election.
A Quinnipiac University survey released this month found Trump and Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Demoratic nominee, running neck and neck. The same poll put Cornyn’s job approval rating at 37 percent, down from 41 percent in September.
How many Texans feel the same way as Eisenberg remains unclear. One thing that is clear is Cornyn is likely to have a tough reelection contest this fall.
“Cornyn has outlived his usefulness in my view to the constituency he represents,” Eisenberg said. “He now is representing such a small, narrow slice -- the Trump base -- that he no longer reflects what’s going on in this community and across the country.”