DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When U.S. Senator John Cornyn won his fourth term this week, he not only defeated Democratic challenger MJ Hegar by ten percentage points, he also won more votes in Texas than President Donald Trump.
Senator Cornyn has 5,931,602 votes so far, which is 71,506 votes more than President Trump, who has 5,860,096 votes.
The President defeated Democrat Joe Biden by 648,690 votes or six percentage points, 52%-46%, while Cornyn defeated Hegar by ten percentage points, 54%-44%.
That’s a change from what we have seen in most previous elections in Texas, when the Republican Presidential candidate won more votes than anyone else in the state.
The last Presidential candidate in Texas who didn’t win the most votes in the state was George W. Bush, then Texas Governor, in 2000.
At the time, Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison won 282,452 more votes than Mr. Bush.
He had 3,799,639 votes compared to her 4,082,091 votes.
That year, Bush defeated former Vice President Al Gore in Texas 59%-38%.
Hutchison beat Democrat Gene Kelly 65%-32%.
As for Senator Cornyn, he not only won more votes than President Trump statewide, but in each of the big four counties in North Texas: Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties.
When asked if Republicans didn’t vote for the President or if they voted for Biden and if Democrats voted for Cornyn, Tarrant County GOP Chair Rick Barnes said it’s most likely a combination.
Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples disagreed. “Well, no, I think it’s really Republicans voting for Vice President Biden and then coming back to Senator Cornyn. I think if you noticed, Senator Cornyn changed his campaign style a whole lot during the campaign.”
Barnes said the President’s personality may have had something to do with the results. “We do know that there are some people that it became a personality issue more so than a policy issue. And unfortunately, people that vote on personalities are going to quickly realize that was a bad way to vote.”
Barnes said the party is now reviewing the election results to find out more about the results, and that they are already starting to discuss the next big election cycle in 2022 when statewide officers, including Governor Greg Abbott are up for re-election.
It may come as no surprise that Peoples and Barnes disagreed over whether Tarrant County remains a Republican stronghold.
Peoples also pointed to former Vice President Biden’s lead over President Trump in their county as the last absentee ballots are counted.
If it holds, the Texas Democratic Party said it would be the first time since 1952 that a Democratic Presidential candidate won in Tarrant County.
She also said Democratic candidates defeated Republicans in two Constable races.
But Barnes said Tarrant County remains solidly Republican because Senator Cornyn won, along with all Republican State House members in the county, statewide candidates, and members of Congress in Tarrant County.
While the race for the 24th Congressional District hasn’t been officially called, Republican Beth Van Duyne has maintained her lead over Democrat Candace Valenzuela for the open seat.
Barnes said, “The major positions are still Republican led, the county is still Republican led, and we aren’t going to let the the Democrats claim victory over anything.”
Peoples said, “I don’t believe that. What I do believe is that we do have a lot to unpack, we’ve got to sit down and talk about our messaging. You know, I continue to say, we allowed Republicans to dominate the messaging cycle, they had a consistent message, they kept saying defund the police. This is socialism.”
She said Democrats never refuted the Republican message.
Peoples also said Democrats lost an opportunity because they decided to campaign virtually instead of going door to door as Republicans did, which historically has proven to engage voters and get out the vote.
Peoples said Republicans did a good job of getting out the vote in the Van Duyne-Valenzuela race.
As of Friday evening, Van Duyne led Valenzuela by 4,489 votes as Tarrant County elections officials continued counting absentee ballots.
While Valenzuela beat Van Duyne in the portion of the district that’s in Dallas and Denton Counties, she has a 26,769 vote lead in Tarrant County.
Van Duyne has declared victory, but the race hasn’t been officially called, and Valenzuela hasn’t conceded.
During her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had hoped to pick up Congressional seats in Texas. “I was disappointed that we didn’t win some seats in Texas, I’ll be very honest about that, but nonetheless, we’re paving the way. We’re paving the way. We made our investments and we won the.. we held the house. That was our goal.”
Barnes said, “When Nancy Pelosi is disappointed, we did good. We really don’t judge anything we do based on Nancy Pelosi. She is a part of what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.”
Speaker Pelosi said she wants to remain in her role for another two years, and has written House members to re-elect her Speaker.
On Friday evening, the Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said, “Although progress can feel slow at times, progress was made in the 2020 November elections. Texas Democrats again cut the statewide gap, broke turnout records, cast the third most votes for Joe Biden out of all 50 states, and won down-ballot races across the state.”
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