POLITICO is beating the drum that the Lone Star State might magically switch from red to blue in an apparent attempt to turn out Texas Democrats.
Democrats have been trying to paint a picture that Donald Trump’s campaign might be the straw that broke the camel’s back and flipped Texas into the blue state column. POLITICO appears to have jumped on the bandwagon in an article that asks, “Could Trump blow it in Texas?”
After admitting the odds of Texas turning blue “are long,” the organization known for calling people on facts and misleading statements starts their own analysis about a “perfect storm of demographic and political forces it would take to turn Texas blue.”
“I think that Texas is competitive this year,” Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP operative told the POLITICO writers. “I think it’ll be much closer than usual. I think it’s because of the Trump factor.” The article goes on to say that Steinhauser still expects Trump to “end up on top.” There does not appear to be any drill-down on that point to ask Steinhauser what he believes the margin of victory for Texas will be.
Breitbart Texas followed up with Steinhauser to ask that question.
“I think Trump will win by somewhere between five and seven points,” he responded. “He will carry the rural areas by a big margin, but I think the cities will go to Hillary, and the suburbs will be very close.”
Steinhauser told Breitbart Texas he believes the tightness at the top of the ticket will not filter down into the state’s solid red down ballot races. “Will Hurd (R-TX) is probably the most in trouble,” he said, “but the state reps, state senators, and congressmen all seem to be running ahead of the top of the ticket by five to ten points.”
While he believed most of the major cities in Texas would vote Clinton, he said Trump will do well in Houston’s heavily-populated neighboring counties which have been very strong in support for Republican candidates. He conceded that Houston (and Harris County) could end up voting for its third straight Democratic presidential candidate.
Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) took a stronger position on the matter. “They need to get back into political reality!,” The former Harris County Tax Assessor who prides himself as a “numbers guy” told Breitbart Texas.
“The fact is that while Harris County might be a ‘Purple Slugfest,’ the State of Texas is still reliably red. I was a Republican Elector in 2012, and those votes are not going to change in 2016.”
Reflecting on previous elections, the senator from one of Texas’ reddest districts said, “Only in a real four-candidate race like for Governor in 2006 or a strong Ross Perot third party movement, could Texas really be in play. Today’s Libertarian and Green party tickets just don’t have that type of traction, even in 2016.”
The POLITICO article bases its speculation on two recent polls. A University of Houston (UH) poll, previously reported by Breitbart Texas, shows a three-point lead for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton (41-38). The second poll is a post-3rd debate poll by CBS News showing Trump’s lead at 46 to 43. Both of these polls claim the lead to be within their poll’s margin of error.
The UH was based upon a sampling model reflective of voter turnout in the 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycles when Barack Obama was at the top of the ticket. It is not likely that it is an accurate representation of this year’s voting model as Clinton does not appear to be exciting Democrat voters in the same way Obama did in the previous two election cycles.
The CBS poll is based upon a sample of likely voters who have “opted in” to polling lists and also may not be reflective of the totality of voters coming to the polls.
Harris County GOP Chairman Paul Simpson told POLITICO, “It’s hard to tell exactly why people are turning out. The optimist in me says that people … are turning out to change the status quo.”
And turning out they are.
Something is driving voters to turn out during Texas’ two-week early voting process. Breitbart Texas reported record voter turnout in the first two days of early voting. While some of Texas’ largest counties showed some slowdown in the third day of voting, the state’s largest county (Harris County, Houston) saw an even larger turnout on the third day. Houston area voters broke a previous first-day-of-early-voting turnout record on Monday when 67,471 people cast their ballots in person. Tuesday showed an even larger turnout of 73,542. Even more voters came to the polls on Wednesday, with 76,098 people voting. Including mail-in ballots received by Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart’s office, a total of 335,436 people have already cast their ballots.
One key point in debunking the Democrat’s dream of a blue Texas is the lack of money and campaigning in the Lone Star State from the top of the ticket, Hillary Clinton. Breitbart Texas reported the Clinton campaign was fueling speculation by announcing what some called an historic ad buy in this state. However, the duration of the buy was only for one week. Later reports revealed the ad buy was more of a Democrat head-fake as only a measly $46,000 was spent by the Clinton campaign, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Failed 2014 Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis seemed to concede defeatby the Democrats this year by making a “wait till next year” kind of statement.
“A lot of people in Texas who are considering running statewide in the future are going to be closely watching what the indications are coming out of this election and re-analyzing the possibilities of when it makes sense to try to launch again a statewide race in Texas,” she said.
Perhaps Texas GOP strategist, and former Rick Perry advisor, Ray Sullivan summed it up best when he told POLITICO, “Every cycle, the Democrats claim this is their year, and it never is … Texas remains a very successful, very prosperous and growing Republican state.”