Cornyn defeats Noriega in Senate race

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican Senator John Cornyn has sealed election to a second term after overwhelming Democrat Rick Noriega with his campaign cash.

Cornyn also had another big advantage: He ran for U.S. Senate in a state that's still decidedly red.

Cornyn won his re-election bid with 56 percent of the vote to Noriega's 41 percent with all but a few precincts counted. Libertarian Yvonne Schick was a distant third.

Support for Democratic President-elect Barack Obama that gripped many parts of the country and boosted his party's candidates. But it failed to sweep Noriega or other Democrats into statewide office.

As expected, Republican John McCain took Texas, even though he lost the presidential election.

Cornyn won most of the vote in West and East Texas. Noriega fared well in South Texas and along the Texas-Mexico border. Cornyn took Harris County, where Houston is located. Noriega received the most votes in the San Antonio and Corpus Christi areas and led in Dallas, but Cornyn had the upper hand in Fort Worth.

In the words of Austin-based Republican consultant Ray Sullivan said, "Texas remains a solidly Republican state even in the face of an Obama tidal wave nationally."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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