Blood In The Water? Why Steve Stockman Aptly Sensed Opportunity and Filed Against John Cornyn

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US Senator John Cornyn has been perceived as potentially vulnerable to a Republican primary challenger for some time.

Last night, the Texas GOP Congressional delegation's official freshman crazy person Steve Stockman took the plunge, retracting his paperwork for CD-36 and filing against Cornyn instead.

On the face of it, Stockman's crazy to do this. John Cornyn is the #2 Republican in the US Senate, and has been ranked among the most conservative members of the body. But recent polling from PPP and the Young Conservatives of Texas straw poll show vulnerability for Cornyn, who isn't perceived as being as conservative as Ted Cruz, or the run-off voters who will be deciding the Lieutenant Governor's race.

Crazy as it sounds, Cornyn could indeed be at risk, especially if the sheer number of also-rans in the Republican US Senate primary push the race to a run-off.

Below the jump, catch up on the PPP and YCT numbers, and check out Cornyn's spokesperson freaking out on Twitter about the challenge.Realistically, sane Texans shouldn't laugh about this. We shouldn't chuckle at the Republican Party getting their just desserts in a primary challenge to Human GOP Blast Fax John Cornyn in the form of Steve “Guns For Embryos!” Stockman. It's a symbol of how far astray the Tea Party loons are taking the Republican Party.

Cornyn has $7 million dollars in the bank, the ability to raise infinitely more if need be, and will have most of the GOP establishment happily backing him. Stockman is $163,000 in debt from his last campaign, has repeatedly failed to file required FEC disclosures, and lets his out-of-state campaign workers live in a dilapidated shack. This shouldn't be a contest. But it may well be, and that's oh-so-delicious at a time when Texas Democrats are doing all we can to show which party is actually capable of leading our state.

Stockman's a genuine crazy person in a state known for “wacko birds.” He thinks the Violence Against Women Act is bad because it “helps liberals.” He compared Barack Obama to Saddam Hussein. He invited that racist rodeo clown to Texas and took Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address.

But here's the really crazy part: in a recent PPP Poll, 49% of GOP Primary voters said they wanted someone more conservative than John Cornyn.

62% of GOP primary voters have a higher opinion of Ted Cruz than John Cornyn. Louie Gohmert actually led Cornyn in a hypothetical match-up in the poll 38%-35% among voters who describe themselves as “Very Conservative.”

But that's not the poll that should give Cornyn the most pause. No, that would be the YCT straw poll.

The Young Conservatives of Texas recently took a break from persecuting Hispanic students on the University of Texas campus to conduct a straw poll for various statewide Republican primary offices. Cornyn barely eked out a slim plurality over “No Preference,” as shown by the chart below:

Somehow, conservatives and right-wing extremists are dissatisfied with Cornyn. Steve Stockman certainly has pandered to their few extant brain cells in his less-than-two-years back in Congress. He won the seat in part due to his misleading “Re-Elect Steve Stockman” yard signs in 2012, which allowed him to escape a crowded primary field in the newly drawn CD-36.

Meanwhile, Senator John Cornyn's spokesperson Drew Brandewie wasted no time in jumping into the fray:

Me thinks the spoxperson doth protest too much.

In the meantime, it might be a smart bet to invest in some commodities futures, because it's time to pop some corn and watch the Texas GOP go to war with itself.  

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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