It may be the case that the epidemic is like a recession: Whomever is in power is going to get blamed, irrespective of actual culpability. In 2020, every problem from sea to shining sea is Donald Trump’s problem. And when it comes to the most dramatic problem of the day, Trump is not faring well, even in Texas. And if Republicans have to invest money and manpower in Texas, they are not investing that money and manpower in flipping states that are close or in defending the swing states that went Trump’s way in 2016.

The longer-term problem for Republicans in Texas is that people who live in cities vote for Democrats, and Texas is an increasingly urban state. The big cities in Texas — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin — already are Democratic and have been for a long time. Ted Cruz could not win the votes of Fort Worth the last time around. And in Texas’s suburbs, we are likely to see (and already are seeing) something like what has happened elsewhere in the country, where the innermost suburbs begin to take on the social and economic character of the cities themselves, and begin to vote like them. Republicans used to lose Philadelphia and then win the other four counties of southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2016, Mrs. Clinton got nearly six times as many votes as Trump in Philadelphia — and then won every suburban county, too. You won’t hit a Trump borough in Pennsylvania until you are seeing Amish buggies on the road. In the same way, every year you have to drive a little further out of Houston before you enter reliably Republican turf…

“I alone can fix it!” may have sounded good to Donald Trump four years ago. Today, it sounds delusional. And that is why the incumbent is hearing footsteps in Texas and elsewhere. The problem for Trump is that he is the president of the United States of America, and that means that this mess is all his problem even if it isn’t all his fault.