Could Texas Go Blue in 2020?
Texas has long been considered one of the safest states for the Republican Party. Though its cities are mostly blue, its rural areas are deep red and make up a large proportion of its population. Could Texas go blue in 2020?
The 2020 presidential election could be pivotal in Texas politics. Approval ratings for Donald Trump have plummeted despite the state’s red roots, and Joe Biden’s poll numbers are strong. In a year full of surprises and upheaval, Texas could vote liberal in a presidential election for the first time in 44 years.
Red roots run deep in Texas
Democrats haven’t won a statewide election in Texas since 1994. Both US Senators from Texas are Republicans and of its 36 US congressional representatives, 23 are Republicans. The last time Texas went blue in a presidential election was 44 years ago, when Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976.
With its 36 electors, Texas is the second largest electorate in the country. While the state is diverse, its rural areas and small- and medium-sized towns have a culture of independence and a distrust of government overreach. That small government approach is a hallmark of conservative Texas politics and has benefitted businesses and built a strong state economy.
Trump loses ground
Strong economies create jobs, which have increasingly attracted people from outside of Texas to move to the state. And like the rest of the country, the state’s population is also becoming more urban as young people move to cities for work.
These demographic changes are likely part of the reason why President Trump is trailing behind Joe Biden in Texas. In 2016, Trump beat Clinton with 52 percent of the Texas vote versus Clinton’s 43 percent. But the changing face of the state and the abysmal performance of the President have changed the Republican Party’s outlook in the state in just the last four years.
Shift the trajectory
Election polls are often inaccurate, but they give insight into voters’ moods and attitudes. Polls showing Biden with a healthy lead over Trump in Texas are a sign of trouble for conservatives, no matter what transpires in November.
The Republican Party has little time left to shift the trajectory in Texas and secure a win for Trump. And even if they succeed and Trump wins the state, Texans have shown their true colors this year. They may not be as reliably red as conservatives think.