John Cornyn, the senate seat and name recognition

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KFDX/KJTL) — John Cornyn is up for re-election for his senate seat in 2020, but have you heard of any of the candidates challenging him?

We’ve reported extensively on it, but a recent survey says most Texans haven’t heard of those challenging candidates.

Wes Rapaport has more on just how important name recognition may be when it comes time for votes to be cast.

Wes: President Donald Trump is confident about the senior senator from Texas John Cornyn keeping his seat in 2020.

Pres. Trump: “Senator John Cornyn, I looked at your polls. Nobody is beating you John, nobody.”

Wes: It’s a crowded field. Look at the data from recent polling by the Texas Tribune and Texas Politics Project. When it comes to name recognition, former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell tops the list at 24%.

Democratic candidate for Texas U.S. Senate seat, Chris Bell said, “While the name ID is low, mine is the highest and I think it is a great advantage to be able to go into cities and have a base of folks who already know who you are.”

Bell is followed closely by state senator Royce West who was proud to tout his legislative record to us on political program “State of Texas” earlier this month.

Democratic candidate for Texas U.S. Senate seat Royce West, said, “I’ve been talking about and taking action and trying to implement them since 1993, through legislation and attempting to make sure of my colleagues on the sides of the aisle would be comfortable with it.”

The poll shows former congressional candidate MJ Hegar has 20% name recognition.

Wes: How much of this race is setting yourself apart from the other candidates, and how much is setting yourself apart from john Cornyn?
Democratic candidate for Texas U.S. Senate seat, MJ Hegar: Zero and 100.

Wes: For others, it’s about making a first impression.

Democratic candidate for Texas U.S. Senate seat, Amanda Edwards said, “Why not use this seat and make it about people delivering results for them. Make it less about speeches and less about slogans and more about results.”

Democratic candidate for Texas U.S. Senate seat, Christina Tzintzun Ramirez said, “I think in this race I may be underestimated.”

Wes: But when asked who would get your vote in the democratic primary– most people responded “don’t know…”

Executive Director of the Texas Politics Project, Jim Henson, said, “none of them start with a significant advantage…Name recognition is almost everything as long as it’s not intensely negative.”

Wes: Jim Henson said voters are just distracted, and that gives Cornyn room to work.

Henson said, “It means he has a lot more time to maneuver and to both get his electoral ducks in a row if you will.”

So what do recent polls show about senator Cornyn? A survey of Texas voters showed a mostly-three way split in terms of performance, split between approval, disapproval, and neutral.

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