John Cornyn

Texas Democrats would rather see Beto O'Rourke run for Senate in 2020

Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images for MoveOn

60% of Texas Democrats would rather see Beto O'Rourke return to his home state in 2020 to challenge Republican John Cornyn for his Senate seat rather than continue to pursue the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Why it matters: O'Rourke catapulted to the national stage after almost unseating Sen. Ted Cruz in one of the most surprisingly competitive elections of 2018. With a 24-candidate primary field, voters could be looking at the Democrats who haven't broken out in national polling to run in the Senate, where not many high-profile names have announced campaigns.

Air Force veteran M.J. Hegar launches Senate bid to unseat John Cornyn

In this image, Hegar stands and gestures while speaking in the middle of a seated circle of constituents.
MJ Hegar speaks to voters in 2018 in Georgetown, Texas. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

Former U.S. Air Force helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar, who narrowly lost a high-profile House race in 2018, launched a Senate campaign against incumbent John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday morning.

Why it matters: Beto O'Rourke's long-shot Senate challenge against Ted Cruz last year garnered national attention and raised the possibility that Texas could be in play in 2020, especially with demographics shifting in Democrats' favor. Hegar, whose campaign video "Doors" went viral during the midterms, is the first Democrat to announce a run against Cornyn, though the field is expected to fill up.