Now, at least eight House seats are in play there, and Sen. John Cornyn is bracing for a competitive reelection race. It’s not out of the question that Democrats could make a play for the state’s 38 electoral college votes, which would all but clinch the presidency if they succeeded.
“Republicans need to be very concerned about Texas,” said Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin. “Texas is definitely in play. We need to take this very, very seriously.”
Aware of the potential gains in Texas, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opened an office in Austin in April and put six Republicans in the state on its 2020 target list. The DCCC has placed 10 staffers on the ground in Texas.
The campaign arm is treating Texas much the way it did California in 2018 — ripe for pickups. Democrats see the increasing diversity in the state, and frustrations with Trump in the suburbs over health care and immigration, as catalysts of a changing political landscape that could play in their favor.