What if a blue wave swept through Texas on November 3? The great southern oil state did not vote Democrat at a presidential since the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976. The Republicans have always won with significant gaps and Donald Trump’s nine-point lead over Hillary Clinton in 2016 almost looked like a poor performance. George Bush, former governor of the state it is true, had won by 33 points in 2004!
Biden on Trump’s heels
This year, however, the change of Lonestar State – the state with only one star (on its flag) – seems possible: the average of the polls carried out in the state gives 48.1% of voting intentions to Donald Trump and 46.3% to Joe Biden, a very narrow advantage (and above all much less than the margin of error) in favor of the outgoing president.
Texas is really at stake, says Mark Johns, political scientist from the Rice University, based in Houston, in the columns of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
This is not entirely a surprise: for a decade now, analysts have viewed this development as inexorable. It is dictated by the very dynamic demography of the State, which had 20 million inhabitants in 2000 and is approaching 29 million. A growth led by the Hispanic community, which weighs more and more heavily, and by the arrival on the prosperous rim of the Gulf of Mexico of many young professionals well qualified and less conservative.
Most of the big cities (Austin, Houston, San Antonio…) already vote progressive. The state is already no longer tinged with bright Republican red, it is purple and seems to be moving towards Democratic blue.
A flick would suffice
When will that translate into the ballot box? Home Democrats feel like a flick is all it takes. In the 2018 midterm elections, Republican Senator Ted Cruz only saved his chair by three small points against a young centrist Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke, who had managed a record fundraiser.
The Texas Democratic Party has asked Biden’s campaign committee and the Democratic National Committee to invest an additional $ 10 million in election advertising in Texas – these originally planned to spend $ 6 million in the state in October. These include mobilizing the black electorate, many in cities like Waco, and increasing the traditionally fairly low turnout of Latino voters, which Biden seems to have somewhat overlooked. And this despite the shackles put in by Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
The Reasonable Calculation of Republicans
On the Republican side, we show serenity, real or feigned. Donald Trump had, a priori, not planned to hold a meeting in Texas during the very last days of the campaign. It is that there is urgency elsewhere for the campaign of the Republican billionaire: he is forced to multiply in other states that he had won narrowly and sometimes by surprise in 2016, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, or even Florida, and to defend another besieged Republican stronghold, Georgia.
This calculation seems reasonable: if Trump were to lose Texas, he would have lost the presidential election in the others anyway. swing states.
It would be the jackpot for the Democrats
For Democrats, the issue is different, both local and long term. Besides the symbolic aspect (Texas with its 38 voters would be the jackpot), the battle is also local. In the wake of a Biden victory, many Texas parliamentary constituencies could switch and the local House of Representatives could turn blue.
However, the next Texas Parliament will have the upper hand over a decisive electoral redistribution. Its growth will earn the state three additional seats in the House of Representatives in Washington. If they win on November 3, the Texas Democrats will have the opportunity to re-size ridings that are now outrageously favorable to Republicans.