John Cornyn defeats MJ Hegar for 4th term in US Senate

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has defeated Democrat MJ Hegar in the closest reelection battle of his nearly 20 years in Washington.

His victory Tuesday night was crucial to Republicans' hopes of preserving their imperiled Senate majority, although other GOP incumbents were facing even tougher reelection battles.

Republicans have held both Texas Senate seats since 1993. Cornyn, 68, has been one of Trump's most stalwart backers in the Senate.

Cornyn held an edge in polls and fundraising for most of the race but was still forced into mounting an unusually aggressive defense of his 18 years in the Senate.

It remains 26 years and counting since Democrats last won a statewide race in Texas.

Hegar called Cornyn at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday to concede, Cornyn spokesman Travis Considine said.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Hegar reflected on her meteoric rise from obscurity and her tough challenge against Cornyn.

"I'm not a career politician, running for U.S. Senate was never my plan. I'm just one of the millions of Texans who saw the world we're giving our children and thought 'hell no.' Together, we stood up and got to work, building a powerful grassroots campaign from the ground up, shattering voter turnout records, and most importantly sending a message to a previously safe Senator that he answers to us. I am confident that the work we did will move our state forward for years to come," she said.

Democrats poured millions of dollars behind Hegar, a former Air Force helicopter pilot who narrowly lost a U.S. House race two years ago. She accused Cornyn of delivering little for Texas over his long stint but didn't generate the same enthusiasm of Democratic challengers in battleground Senate races elsewhere.

HOW TEXANS VOTED

In the race for U.S. Senate, Mary 'MJ' Hegar led John Cornyn among voters under 45. Older voters were more likely to favor Cornyn over Hegar.

White voters were more likely to prefer Cornyn while both Black voters and Latino voters were more likely to favor Hegar.

Cornyn and Hegar were neck and neck among both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters.

Cornyn led among voters in small towns and rural areas. Voters in cities were more likely to prefer Hegar over Cornyn. Hegar and Cornyn were neck and neck among suburban voters.
Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.