The emergence of Ted Cruz has made life miserable for Minority Whip John Cornyn. Cruz constantly has the senior senator for Texas looking over his right shoulder. Cornyn voted against Kerry as secretary of state, as did Cruz, but it’s likely that he did so only to inoculate himself against further doubts being cast on his conservative bona fides.
Roll Call has a story about the likelihood of a primary challenge to Cornyn:
The founder and director of a grass-roots conservative group said he expects Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, to face a primary challenge. Cornyn is up for re-election in 2014.
“I don’t know how good of a primary challenge he is going to get at this point, but he will get a primary challenge,” said Dean Wright, co-founder and director of New Revolution Now, based in Austin, Texas.
“There is vetting going on,” Wright said, but he did not have any other details. He noted that one possible challenger could be Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is viewed as much more likely to run for governor in 2014. Abbott and Cornyn are known to have a cordial relationship, with Cornyn once touting Abbott as a possible Senate candidate.
There is another factor that makes Abbott an unlikely challenger to Cornyn. I have personally heard Abbott say, in years past, that the U.S. Senate is not a good option for him, because the travel back and forth would be difficult for him. In any case, I don’t think it matters: Abbott is widely thought to be focusing on the Governor’s Mansion in 2014.