On January 30, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, released a poll on the U.S. Senate race in Texas. Did someone just say, What U.S. Senate race in Texas? Well, PPP surveyed John Cornyn’s prospects of keeping his seat against four Democratic opponents. As PPP put it, most Texans have never even heard of his prospective opponents.
Cornyn led San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, 48%-41%; he led Houston mayor Annise Parker 47-36%: he led Fort Worth State Senator Wendy Davis, 48%-37%; and he led former Houston mayor and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Bill White, 45%-42%.
So why am I bringing this up now? Because there’s been a lot of talk around the Capitol about the Democrats’s fortunes in 2014, but they have to be careful not to get suckered into races that appear to be winnable but are not. Democrats simply do not have the party infrastructure to win a high-dollar statewide race. It’s tempting: A three-point deficit may look doable, but it isn’t. Cornyn vs. White would be the all-time race for the charismatically-challenged. But for D’s, the money would be much more efficiently spent on legislative and congressional races.