In the face of Democrats' claims that Texas is turning from red to blue and will surrender its 38 Electoral votes, a new poll indicates that President Donald Trump would defeat any potential left-leaning 2020 presidential nominee in the Lone Star State.
Even with virtually all news coverage of Trump focusing on the impeachment inquiry – and shining most of his Democratic presidential contenders in a positive light ahead of Wednesday's Democratic primary debate – the president's support in Texas is unwavering.
More daunting news for Democrats comes from the fact that former on-the-fence voters are now pitching their tents in the Trump camp.
"Interestingly, Trump's surging support in head-to-heads since September appears to be coming from previously undecided respondents," the pollsters divulged.
Up until recently, national and local dailies were arguing that Trump would have a hard time winning Texas again in 2020.
"In the political heart of Texas, a state Republicans have dominated for decades, Democrats say they are gaining ground – and one of the reasons rode into Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday … his name: Donald Trump," USA Today reported in October. "While Trump's policies on immigration, trade and the economy remain popular in Republican-leaning Texas, Democrats say the president's actions are helping them build a base of their own among Hispanics, city dwellers and college-education professionals in the Lone Star State."
Even the judicial system in Texas speculated against the president, as Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins insisted before a Trump rally last month that the president was campaigning in the Lone Star State out of fear of losing it to a Democratic rival.
"Make no mistake about it – Donald Trump would not be doing one of these campaign rallies – on this scale – in Dallas … in Texas, if he was not scared or he did not know that the biggest battleground in the United States this year is Texas," Jenkins argued, according to The Texas Tribune.
The local paper reminded readers that Trump's support in Texas hasn't been very strong.
"Trump carried the state by 9 percentage points in 2016 – the smallest margin for a Republican presidential nominee here in two decades," the Texas daily noted. "His approval rating typically comes in only several points above water here, and recent polling has shown him trailing a number of potential Democratic nominees in the state."
To push the narrative that Trump's support in Texas was slipping away to the Democrats, the term "Texodus" was formed, with many news hubs across the nation adopting it to predict that many Texan voters previously voting Republican would vote Democrat.
"[T]he mere talk that the Democrats were targeting six more seats in 2020 amid a number of prominent GOP retirements inspired a name for the non-phenomenon phenomenon that wasn't occurring: Texodus," The Western Journal pointed out. "While the term technically referred to the fact that these were GOP members choosing to retire in curious numbers ahead of an election cycle, it was predominantly used to push the idea Republicans were no longer voting Republican (for Trump) in favor of his Democratic challenger."
Several headlines pushing the "Texodus" phenomenon were listed by The Western Journal:
"The Christian Science Monitor: 'Texodus': Why the Lone Star State might turn blue for real this time.'"
"George Will: 'Texodus' bodes badly for Republicans.'"
"Mark P. Jones, opinion writer for The Hill: 'What's causing the congressional 'Texodus'?'"
The Beto factor
With Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) having a relatively narrow victory against former Rep. Beto O'Rourke in last year's contest for his Senate seat, the media has played up the idea that Texas is slowly slipping into the hands of Democrats.
"The waves of panic began to hit Club for Growth chapters late last year when noted skateboard livestreamer and one-time computer hacker Beto O'Rourke came close-ish to unseating GOP Sen. Ted Cruz," the Journal's C. Douglas Golden recounted. "Sure, the emphasis was on '-ish' rather than 'close, and sure, he incinerated a record amount of campaign funds to get within 3 percentage points of Cruz in a bad year for Republicans."
It was argued that O'Rourke's numbers were boosted by the media.
"[The close race] all had something to do with the fact O'Rourke was treated like a rock star by the media – as in, say, that interview where a super-objective ABC News reporter literally gushed to him, 'You're a rock star!' at a campaign event – though that status that evaporated like the sweat on his identical blue shirts didn't when he entered the 2020 presidential race," Golden continued. "Still … the media said: Evidence demographics from immigration and intranational migration was turning the state blue – and Texas has another senatorial election in 2020 ..."
And with O'Rourke now out, things aren't looking optimistic for Democrats.
"In the first post-Beto Texas statewide survey of the Democratic field, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding lead with 28 percent support," pollsters from the Texas university revealed. "His closest rivals are Senators Bernie Sanders (19%) and Elizabeth Warren (18%), [while] 11 percent of Texas Democrats remain undecided. This survey gives an early look at the Democratic primary in Texas after 20 percent of the voters were without their leading candidate at the start of the month."
Even though Warren currently leads most polls nationwide against her Democratic challengers, she is not very popular in Texas, which poses a problem for the party.
"The only two candidates in single-digit striking range of Trump are Biden and Sanders – both of whom are among Texas Democrats' top choices," the survey explained. "The other top contender for the nomination, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is down by 11 points."
And while Texas Democratic frontrunner Biden's numbers have stopped slumping, they're not where they used to be.
"… They've stabilized at the level they sank to during his apocalyptic late-summer gaffetomic winter, where he said stuff like 'poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids' and suggested parents turn on the record player for those poor kids to reduce racial inequality, while they were at it – which is to say things aren't stellar over at camp Biden, and his fundraising game is about as credible as his hair plugs, which presents long-term viability issues in the lengthiest campaign season ever, where not just managing money but hoarding lots of it to manage will be crucial," Golden noted.
And things reportedly are going no better for other Democratic contenders.
"Those Democrats who were leading Trump should be building leads. Those who weren't should be taking leads or getting closer [but] the opposite is happening. So no, Texas isn't turning blue presidentially," Golden argued. "And if it's staying red in that category, down-ballot races tend to follow the coattail effect, no matter how much Texodusing might happen."
On a currently related note, the UT-Tyler poll also showed fairly partisan support/opposition for Trump to be impeached: should be impeached (Dem. 83.6%), should not be impeached (Rep. 81.4%). Independents were fairly evenly split as well on the issue: should be impeached (41.1%), should not be impeached (46.3%).
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