Hillary Clinton Could Win Texas If These Voter Stats Are Any Indication Of The State Turning Blue
The American South has been reliably Republican territory for decades, but as the 2016 election keeps proving time and time again, old trends like this might come to an end on Nov. 8. Recent polls have shown a surge of support for the Democratic presidential nominee, with some suggesting the genuine possibility of Hillary Clinton winning in states like Texas and Arizona. What's behind this development? While Republican disdain for Donald Trump could certainly contribute to a Clinton victory in Texas, the surge in Latino voters will undoubtedly help the Democrats in this election.
In early stages of the race, Texas polls had Trump leading Clinton by as much as 11 points; in the newest poll conducted by CBS News and YouGov, this lead shrunk to just three points, which actually falls within the poll's margin of error of 4.4 percent. In another poll by WFAA-TV and Survey USA, Trump's lead of four percent also fell within the margin of error, which happened to be exactly 4 percent. The same thing was reflected in a poll by the University of Houston, in which the Republican nominee's three-point advantage found itself in the 3-percent margin of error.
Looking back to Mitt Romney's win in the Lone Star State in 2012, the numbers show Obama losing by 1.26 million votes. Clinton would need this group to either vote for a third party candidate, refuse to vote entirely, or throw their support behind the Democratic Party on Election Day in order to win in Texas.
Fortunately for Clinton, a rapid increase in the state's number of Latino voter registrations might help to close that gap. Among newly registered voters in Texas, roughly half a million have Hispanic last names. Given her opponent's extremely low favorability ratings with this demographic, thanks to his anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric — a September poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal showed only 17 percent of Hispanic voters support him — a spike in Latino voter registration bodes well for the Democratic nominee. Her own favorability ratings with Latinos usually show percentages in the high 60s and mid-70s.
As for dissatisfied Republicans not voting for Trump, a predicted low turnout in Texas could help Clinton's goal of turning the state blue. Texas has a low voter turnout in general, regardless of whether it's a presidential election or a primary, but with a highly unpopular standard-bearer and an election that's already widely predicted to go in Clinton's favor, Republican numbers could see a significant drop in November. When the public perceives an election to have already been decided, voters feel less motivated to go to the polls, especially if their candidate is on the expected losing side. Several Texan congress members slammed Trump in October after his vulgar comments in the leaked Access Hollywood tape, which may have affected his standing with Texas Republicans as a whole.
With all of the surprises the 2016 election has brought, a blue Texas would be low on the list of shocking moments.