Predictions For Texas On Election Day Show The Lone Star State Possibly Turning Blue
Donald Trump may be to thank for turning one of the largest Republican strongholds blue on Election Day, a feat that once seemed impossible for the characteristically conservative Texas. But recent predictions for Texas show a much tighter race on Election Day than the Lone Star State has seen in decades, with some polls even placing Trump and Hillary Clinton within the margin of error of one another.
In a total of national polls, RealClearPolitics shows Clinton at 41 percent and Trump at 45, at time of writing. In a conservative bastion that hasn't elected a Democratic candidate to statewide office in over two decades, what is the cause of the reversal?
According to an analysis from NPR, there are two major demographics to largely credit with this switch: Republican-leaning suburban women and Latinos, both of whom have been energized by Trump's repeated attacks against them. Republican woman have been turned off by the candidate's sexist rhetoric, citing his recent Access Hollywood tape as the final straw.
Carol Reed, a Republican political consultant from Texas, told NPR:
He has turned off women all over America and it really doesn't matter whether you are an R or a D. We're no different when it comes to that kind of thing. So, the soccer mom today, while she cares more about economic stuff, there comes a point where there's a bridge too far, and I'm seeing already in North Dallas a couple of the "nasty woman" T-shirts.
Democratic Latino voters are also expected to turn out in droves in Texas, as they've already done in Florida during early voting. The Clinton campaign said that 133,000 Latino voters had already cast their ballot in Florida as of Tuesday, indicating a 99 percent increase in that demographic as compared to the same point in the 2012 election.
Liberals are hoping for a similar boost in Texas among Latino voters. Oct. 24 was the first day of early voting in Texas, and already the numbers are looking optimistic. Every major city in the state smashed its 2012 election record. In Houston, for instance, 47,000 people voted on the first day in 2012, while this year 67,000 voted. The numbers were similar for Austin, with the 2012 election bringing in 16,000 votes and 35,000 voters this year.
Though the results aren't in, they look promising, and could certain show a mimic between Florida's and Texas' Latino voters. Clinton herself told New York over the summer: "If black and Latino voters come out and vote, we could win Texas."
If she's right — and polls are certainly giving her assertion a great deal of credibility — voters just may see Texas turn blue after all.