The latest poll is out in the Trump versus Biden race in Texas. Texas is a must-win state for Republicans in order to hold the White House. In The Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler Poll conducted from August 28 to September 2, President Trump is up 48% to 46%.
According to the latest polling summarized at Real Clear Politics, Trump has led polling since August, with the last poll that showed Biden ahead was a Quinnipiac poll in the middle of July that had Biden up by 1 point. The Democrats remain hopeful of flipping Texas to a blue state in the presidential election. Texas is a battleground state this cycle but it likely will remain in the Trump column on Election Night. I’m willing to bet this isn’t the year that Texas hands the presidential election to the Democrats.
I’ve written about it many times – the demographics in Texas are changing and it is changing elections. There is also the influx of out-of-state people moving to Texas for job opportunities and a good standard of living, many of whom are coming from blue states. Sadly, some of them aren’t learning the lesson that red states are best because of Republican leadership. Much of Texas has become purple.
The Trump re-election campaign is sending surrogates on bus tours in swing states. This is a smart move. Voters like to see familiar faces and have conversations with them. Last week, a Trump bus tour kicked off in Texas. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick was joined by other Texans – campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson, and senior adviser Brad Parscale. Their message is one of confidence that Texas will go for Trump in November.
“Welcome to the Trump bus tour in Texas,” Patrick said in his first remarks to reporters off the bus, before quickly volunteering: “We are absolutely 100% confident that President Donald Trump will carry Texas,” and “solidly” so.
Patrick, the chairman of Trump’s 2020 campaign in Texas, was followed by Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson, who insisted the president would “carry the state and carry it well.” Then came another senior adviser, Brad Parscale, who claimed Trump is “in a very good position for Texas” and said he laughs when people approach him with concerns about the state, noting the attention that the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is paying to it.
“That’s all just a little bit of smoke and mirrors,” said Parscale, who was Trump’s campaign manager earlier this election cycle. “The president’s in a clear position to win this state.”
Trump carried Texas by 9 points in 2016, which was the smallest margin of victory that a GOP nominee got in Texas since 1996. The attention the Biden campaign is paying to Texas is raising the enthusiasm of Democrats who are desperate to see Trump be defeated. Beto O’Rourke says if Biden wins Texas, there is no way Trump will win re-election, and he is right. Republicans can’t win the White House without Texas. O’Rourke is measuring the drapes for Sleepy Joe and pushing for “a very aggressive agenda”, as I heard him say on television. Even Biden admitted that if his policy proposals and agenda comes into action with a win in November, “I’m going to go down as one of the most progressive presidents ever.” So much for the narrative that Joe Biden is moderate. Joe Biden is an opportunist who bends with popular opinion. We all know he’s not up to the task of running the country 24/7 and will be essentially a figurehead for the Kamala Harris administration.
Lt. Gov. Patrick predicts that Trump will win Texas by double digits in November. He also denies that Texas is a swing state. The bus tour, though, shows the campaign isn’t taking Texas for granted and that is smart. Remember what happened to Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin in 2016? That state was important for her election and she ignored it. Trump hasn’t held a campaign-style rally in Texas since last October. He needs to do one or two before the election – preferably one in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and another in either the Houston area or perhaps in central Texas.
Women for Trump have been doing bus tours in swing states, too. The tour included Arizona where they worked to shore up support for Sen. Martha McSally, who looks like she will be defeated if the polling there is correct. Either way, she is in a very tough race.
Onboard a pink Trump bus was Sen. Martha McSally; Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward; Arizona GOP first vice-chair Pam Kirby and Mercedes Schlapp, a senior adviser for Trump’s re-election campaign.
As they talked up Trump, participants emphasized the need to reopen schools, lower taxes and take jobs back from China.
“As we’re talking to people and women around the state, I think it’s a very clear choice about jobs, opportunity, hope for the future, and safety and security for families and kids,” McSally, R-Ariz., said.
“It’s not just one issue for women — there’s a diverse number of issues for women,” Schlapp said. “I think that women voters are going to look at that and say, ‘I need a president who is going to be one to ensure that we keep our communities safe and that we’re able to rebuild a strong economy and that choice is President Trump.'”
As I said, the race remains tight, if the polls are to be believed. Trump’s campaign is smart to do bus tours and talk to people on the ground. The Democrats in Texas say Texans are ready for a change.
“As the Trump campaign conducts its last-ditch bus tour of Texas, it has never been clearer that they are on the verge of breaking,” state Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. “Texans are demanding change. Texas will go to Joe Biden on November 3.”
Trump will be helped by Senator John Cornyn who is in a solid double-digit lead against his Democrat opponent.
“Trump is ahead,” said political scientist Mark Owens, who directed the poll, adding that the fates of the two Republicans at the top of the ticket are closely entwined. “Trump is helped by Cornyn.”
The poll, conducted Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, surveyed 1,176 registered voters. Of those, 901 said they are “extremely likely” to vote in November. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.87 percentage points for the bigger group, and 3.22 points for the subset of likely voters.
The poll is of registered voters, which is less reliable than likely voters and it’s a relatively small sampling, too. That’s something to keep in mind as we keep an eye out for more polling now that we’re at the Labor Day point of the campaign.