Donald Trump’s candidacy is quickly turning into a catastrophic GOP event, as a new poll of Texas shows Donald Trump with a relatively small 6 point lead over Hillary Clinton.
Keep in mind that it was only four years ago that Mitt Romney won Texas by 16 points while getting trounced nationally by President Obama.
The latest PPP poll of Texas found a closer than expected contest between Clinton and Trump:
PPP’s new Texas poll finds a relatively tight race, at least on the curve of recent Presidential election results in the state. Donald Trump leads with 44% to 38% for Hillary Clinton, 6% for Gary Johnson, 2% for Jill Stein, and less than half a percent (0) for Evan McMullin. In a head to head contest Trump leads Clinton 50-44 in the state, which Mitt Romney won by 16 points in 2012.
A Democratic victory in Texas this year remains a stretch but within the numbers, there are signs of Democrats being positioned to become seriously competitive there in the years ahead. Trump’s lead is based entirely on his holding a 63-33 advantage among seniors. With voters under 65, Clinton leads him 49-45. And when you look just specifically at voters under 45, Clinton leads Trump 60-35. Older voters are overwhelmingly responsible for the Republican advantage in Texas, and generational change is likely to help Democrats become more competitive.
A big piece of that generational change is the increasing racial diversity of the electorate in Texas. Trump has a 69/25 lead with white voters, but the reason the state’s so competitive overall is that among non-white voters Clinton has a 73-21 lead, including a 68-27 edge with the state’s booming Hispanic population.
If Hillary Clinton locks down the swing states that she needs to win the White House, her campaign should make at minimum a small effort in Texas. Democrats could force Republicans to actually spend money defending Texas. Donald Trump is such a weak presidential nominee that he can’t lock down the red state that should have been a given for him.
Should Republicans abandon funding Trump’s campaign, Hillary Clinton could do what many viewed as impossible. Clinton could win Texas, or at minimum accelerate the gains that Democrats are making in the state. It is a definite long shot for Democrats in Texas, but with the state’s demographic trends moving their way, an effort in Texas could yield long-term benefits for the Democratic Party.
Donald Trump is a complete catastrophe for the Republican Party. Trump is underperforming Romney by half or more in red states Georgia, Utah, Arizona, Indiana, and Texas. The odds are that Trump hangs on to Texas in 2016, but if Hillary Clinton gets close to victory, it will be another step forward for the Democratic goal of turning Texas blue.
Regardless, the fact that Hillary Clinton even has a chance of winning Texas speaks volumes about the sorry state of Donald Trump’s campaign.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a 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