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POLITICS: PennAve

John Cornyn headed for primary victory Tuesday

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Politics,Congress,Texas,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,John Cornyn,Steve Stockman

Having fended off a baffling challenge from Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Sen. John Cornyn appears poised to glide to victory in the Republican primary contest Tuesday.

Cornyn, although unpopular among some conservative groups, was at no point seriously threatened by Stockman, whose bid for Senate was so bizarrely dysfunctional that even those groups who wanted to see Cornyn defeated could not throw their support behind Stockman.

A well-groomed candidate would have been hard-pressed to mount a viable challenge to Cornyn, who as early as October boasted a war chest of nearly $7 million, in addition to unequivocal support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Stockman, meanwhile, started his campaign with $32,000 and extensive debt, and he faced multiple potential violations of Federal Elections Commission rules.

Stockman did not seem particularly keen on campaigning, either. He went off the radar for a span of weeks earlier this year, during which time his aides refused to comment on Stockman's whereabouts. Stockman later said he was traveling abroad during that time.

And, strangely for a would-be standard-bearer of insurgent primary campaigns, Stockman himself had not voted in a Republican primary since 2004.

In a recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, Cornyn held a commanding lead over Stockman among likely voters, with 62 percent to 16 percent.

Another Tea Party primary attempt looks as though it will fall flat in Texas on Tuesday: Katrina Pierson, who has won support from FreedomWorks and other outside groups in her challenge to Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is expected to come up short.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner