A recent PPP poll found that the 2016 presidential race in Texas is surprising close. Hillary Clinton could move Texas closer to turning blue as Rand Paul and Chris Christie each lead her by just 4 points.
According to the PPP poll of Texas, Hillary Clinton would be a very strong Democrat at the top of the ticket in the red state that Republicans most need to keep. Jeb Bush, who will never run, does the best against Clinton, 49%-42%. Things get much closer after Bush. Chris Christie leads 44%-39%. Rand Paul leads 48%-44%. Ted Cruz leads Clinton within the poll’s margin of error 48%-45%, and Hillary leads Rick Perry in his home state 47%-45%.
Hillary Clinton could turn Texas into a battleground in 2016, because this poll reveals that despite all of the Republican claims of having a “deep bench” of 2016 candidates, voters in Texas don’t seem to be wowed by any of them. No Republican candidate in the poll got 50% support against Hillary Clinton. The former Sec. of State is such a well known figure that she can even keep a close race in the biggest red state of them all.
If Hillary Clinton can be competitive in Texas, it sets up a nightmare scenario for Republicans. Clinton’s close polling in the state could force them to have to spend millions of dollars defending something that they thought was solidly locked up in their favor.
The wildcard with all Texas polls is the state’s restrictive voter ID law. The demographics in the state are trending toward the Democratic Party, but those potential voters face some huge barriers to casting their ballot thanks to what might be the nation’s worst voter ID law.
The possibility that Hillary Clinton could turn Texas blue should keep Republicans awake at night.
If the Republican Party ever loses Texas, it will not be able to win presidential elections. The struggles of the current Republican presidential contenders against Hillary Clinton in a place like Texas suggests that none of them have the kind of star power and presence needed to go toe to toe with what looks like a possible merger of the Clinton and Obama campaign muscle.
Texas could go blue in 2016 depending on who the Republicans nominate, but Democrats best chance to flip the state into their column might come in 2020 with a second term seeking President Clinton. Republicans don’t want to face reality, but Texas is moving towards the Democrats, and Hillary Clinton might be the candidate who finally tips it into the blue column.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association