“There are practical realities — we ran a bunch of red district primaries, and it would come back that the number one issue for 80+% of Republican primary voters was loyalty to Donald Trump. I’m not making that number up,” a respondent told me.
Several consultants pointed to the situation that Sen. John Cornyn faces in Texas to illustrate the problem. They indicated that internal polling shows Trump either tied or very slightly ahead in the Lone Star State. One said Cornyn should be feeling very lucky that Beto O’Rourke ran for president, rather than tacking slightly center and spending $90 million on a campaign to unseat the incumbent senator. Another said Cornyn’s “quietly in trouble.”
But rather than addressing this by creating some strategic separation from Trump to solidify the historically conservative Dallas and Houston suburbs where Trump is bleeding out, Cornyn has become a Mr. Trump fan girl, echoing his virus denial and defending the attack on nonviolent protestors in Lafayette Square.
Why? According to one: “You have 25% of the state is rural and Trump gets like Saddam Hussein level numbers here. 87% in 25% of the state… Cornyn gets 69. And so Cornyn can’t find a place to break from because he could really put that in jeopardy.”