Winning Texas has long been a dream goal of Democrats around the country. It is the state that has gone the longest without electing any Democrat to statewide office (not since Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock in 1994), and if it became blue or even purple, Republicans’ path to winning the presidency would become almost impossible.
New polling this week suggests that President Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity has put this long-coveted goal within reach for Democrats.
On Tuesday, a Univision/University of Houston poll tested Trump against his competition and found him trailing six Democratic presidential candidates in the Lone Star State. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads Trump 48 to 42 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden leads him 47 to 43 percent, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro leads him 44 to 41 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) leads him 44 to 42 percent, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) leads him 43 to 41 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) leads him 45 to 44 percent.
Then, on Wednesday, a Quinnipiac poll found similarly grim numbers for the president. The survey showed that 48 percent of Texans, and 52 percent of Texas independents, will “definitely not vote” for Trump. The poll also found that 56 percent of Texas independents disapprove of Trump’s job performance — and ominously for the GOP as a whole, 53 percent of Texans support stricter gun control.
The election is still more than a year away, and the race will change in numerous unpredictable ways. But the numbers coming out of Texas — a state that Trump cannot win without — have to be making Republican strategists sweat.