Texas hasn’t gone blue in a presidential contest since 1976, but Donald Trump has Republicans in the state terrified that it could happen again in November.
According to The Hill, “Texas Republicans are on edge as polls show President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden running neck and neck in the Lone Star State with less than five months to go before Election Day.”
GOP operatives in the state are worried that a close contest in Texas at the top of the ticket – even if Trump does win – could be a disaster for down ballot Republicans.
More from The Hill:
[Republican s are] increasingly open to the outside possibility that Texas could go blue in the presidential race for the first time since 1976.
The president’s margins in Texas will matter, and Republicans fear that a close race at the top of the ticket might wipe them out in down ballot races.
Five House Republicans from the Texas delegation are retiring at the end of the year and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates three of those as either toss-ups or leaning Democratic.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is also up for reelection and will likely face the toughest fight of his career in 2020.
Biden’s campaign says it intends to compete in Texas, where the state Democratic Party has become one of the largest in the nation. Texas’s fast-changing demographics have hastened its move from solidly red state to purple battleground.
As of this writing, Trump only leads the state by an average of 1.5 percentage points. In other words, it won’t be a GOP stronghold in 2020; it’s a clear toss-up.
Win or lose, Texas is a bright spot for Democrats
There is no question that Donald Trump’s path to a second term would be completely cut off if Joe Biden won Texas in November. But regardless of the outcome in the state, it’s a bright spot for Democrats.
In the short term, a close race in Texas could force Trump to use valuable resources to defend what has typically been a safe red state. It could also indicate that other so-called swing states are breaking toward Biden.
In the long term, Texas is clearly trending toward the Democratic column. When that happens, Republicans will be at risk of being completely locked out of winning an Electoral College victory.
No matter what happens in the fall, that’s a good development for Democrats going forward.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.