Rumors started circulating last year that the long-time, Republican-ran state of Texas might be turning blue, or at the very least, purple.
In part, this idea was due to former US Representative and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s attempt to oust GOP Senator Ted Cruz. Beto was considered somewhat of a celebrity, and, in fact, one reporter even said he was “a rock star” at one campaign event. And the vast amount of money he put into the campaign made it believable that he could actually win and that Texas was changing.
And while Beto did gain quite a bit of ground in a bad Republican year, he still lost, coming in three percentage points behind Cruz.
But there were, of course, other congressional elections that year. And they only added to the idea that Texas might be lost to the Democrats.
In 2018, two GOP held seats were traded for Democratic ones, both from suburban districts. However, this is a trend we see mirrored nationwide, and one entirely expected in a midterm year where Republicans run the White House. Nevertheless, that, mixed with the knowledge that a total of six GOP Texas congress members plan to retire soon, has given hope to Democrats in the state and has even inspired some to believe that a “Texodus” of Republicans is about to happen.
An opinion writer for The Hill, Mark P. Jones, wrote a piece titled, “What’s causing the congressional Texodus?”
George Will has stated, “Texodus’ bodes badly for Republicans.”
And the Christian Science Monitor wrote, “Texodus’: Why the Lone Star State might turn blue for real this time.”
But many believe that the real reason for these leftward leaning beliefs is President Trump himself. As USA Today reported last month, “In the political heart of Texas, a state Republicans have dominated for decades, Democrats say they are gaining ground – and one of the reasons rode into Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. His name: Donald Trump.”
The piece continued, saying, “While Trump’s policies on immigration, trade and the economy remain popular in Republican-leaning Texas, Democrats say the president’s actions are helping them build a base of their own among Hispanics, city dwellers and college-education professionals in the Lone Star State.”
And the Texas Tribune said, “Trump carried the state by 9 percentage points in 2016, the smallest margin for a Republican presidential nominee here in two decades. His approval rating typically comes in only several points above water here, and recent polling has shown him trailing a number of potential Democratic nominees in the state.”
However, more recent polling seems to indicate the opposite information.
The University of Texas at Tyler released the results of a new survey on Monday that show President Trump ahead of every Democratic candidate, even though just about the only news available on the main is in the form of impeachment issues.
The poll reported, “One year out from the 2020 election, President Trump is leading all Democrats in head to head contests.” And it continued, “He beats Joe Biden (+5), Bernie Sanders (+4), and Elizabeth Warren (+11). Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Julian Castro (a Texas native) also trail Trump by double-digits.”
While this doesn’t bode well for Dems, in and of itself, there is more that should cause them some serious concern over the reality of Texodus. The poll added, “Interestingly, Trump’s surging support in head to heads since September appears to be coming from previously undecided respondents.”
This means that those who were undecided before are now wholly for Trump, a Republican. They didn’t swing to a Democrat.
But there is even more evidence that Texodus isn’t happening.
As the poll notes, this is the “first post-Beto Texas statewide survey of the Democratic field.” Before Beto had about 20 percent of the Democratic vote but now those voters are “without their leading candidate.” So, where did they put them? Well, it appears most of them are still undecided.
The survey says that “former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding lead with 28 percent support. His closest rivals are Senators Bernie Sanders (19%) and Elizbeth Warren (18%). 11 percent of Texas Democrats remain undecided.”
So no, I’d say a Texodus looks pretty uncertain at this time.
It appears, for intents and purposes, that the Lone Star State is still holding red, even with Texas-sized accusations against the pre