At the Texas GOP Convention in San Antonio this past weekend, Republican delegates selected the leadership team for the party, approved a platform, and strategized on how to beat the Democrats.
They also participated in our straw poll, which asked for their thoughts on the most prominent Republicans: President Donald Trump and US Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.
Unsurprisingly, Cruz got the highest marks.
A grassroots hero since his victory in 2012 against moderate Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Cruz entered the US Senate and made good on his promise to “tear down the curtains and auction off the silver and china.” His fight against Obamacare, amnesty, and gun control endeared him to mainstream Republican voters as one of the few politicians who would actually go on to vote as he had campaigned.
Cruz cashed in on that reputation in his 2016 presidential campaign which fell short only to that of the eventual winner, President Donald Trump. Roughly two years later, Cruz is still beloved by grassroots Republicans.
Eighty percent of those voting in our straw poll say they “Strongly Approve” of the junior senator’s performance in office. Both those who “Slightly Disapproved” and “Strongly Disapproved” combined for only 7.7 percent of respondents.
The same can’t be said for the senior member of Texas’ US Senate delegation.
For Cornyn, the numbers are almost the opposite, with nearly 60 percent of delegates stating they disapproved either slightly or strongly of his record in office.
That sentiment wasn’t just expressed in the poll.
As a sponsor for the convention, Cornyn’s name was emblazoned across the lanyard given to delegates with their credentials during registration. But scores of them could be seen discarded and thrown in trash cans around the convention center as delegates replaced them with alternative lanyards from grassroots organizations or, in the case of one delegate, a self-supplied length of twine.
Even more telling, Cornyn appeared to use his wife as almost a type of political shield as he walked on and off the stage for his address to the delegation in order to avoid jeers from the Republican voters he had betrayed. The Senator seemed to correctly surmise that delegates would be less likely to boo him if his wife were with him as he entered and exited the hall. A number of delegates booed him anyway.
Cornyn’s speech focused, not on his accomplishments, but rather the accomplishments of President Trump and Cruz.
Cornyn has been the focus of grassroots Republicans’ frustration for years for failing to fight against the Obama administration, and most recently for his support of amnesty and the omnibus spending bill. Those decisions led some Senate districts to propose the convention censure Cornyn along with other Congressman who voted for the omnibus bills, but the convention’s temporary platform committee rejected those efforts.
Regardless, Cornyn’s horrendous numbers in the straw poll should be a concerning sign for him as he looks toward a re-election campaign in 2020.
President Trump meanwhile maintained strong support numbers from attendants—64.9 percent of delegates said they “Strongly Approved” of his record and 23.7 percent said they “Slightly Approved.”
The totals of the straw poll were as follows:
|Office Holder||Strongly Approve||Slightly Approve||No Opinion||Slightly Disapprove||Strongly Disapprove|
|President Donald Trump||64.9%||23.7%||2.3%||3.1%||6.1%|
|Senator Ted Cruz||80.0%||9.2%||3.1%||0.8%||6.9%|
|Senator John Cornyn||10.9%||25.6%||3.9%||20.9%||38.8%|