September 29, 2019

ALL THE BATTLEGROUNDS ARE RED:

Behind the Texas firewall, suburban shifts leave Trump vulnerable. Can strongholds save him? (Todd J. Gillman, Sep 28, 2019, Dallas Morning News)

Republicans can't win the White House without carrying Texas. And the firewall within the firewall state runs through places like Montgomery County, just north of Houston. For Republicans to survive 2020, they'll need pockets of suburbia where loyalties run deep -- so deep that voters shrug at the threat of impeachment and allegations that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine for dirt on a rival and covered up his effort.

But there are other sorts of suburbs in Texas, like parts of Collin and Denton counties where spectacular growth has overturned the old order. Many have already slipped from the GOP's grasp --once reliable deposits of white conservative votes now transformed by demographic shifts and other forces.

Donald Trump's 9% spread over Hillary Clinton in Texas was the worst showing in decades for a GOP presidential nominee. Sen. Ted Cruz survived in 2018 with less than 51% of the vote, the closest call for any statewide Republican candidate in a quarter century.

Democrats showed surprising strength in Dallas suburbs, for instance, toppling a congressman and two state lawmakers.

"People, Democrat or Republican, they think this is a solidly red area. The demographics are changing. ... I look at my high school pictures, and it was very white here. That's definitely changed," said one of the freshman Democrats, state Rep. Michelle Beckley of Carrollton. [...]

With New York and California safely in their column, Democrats could all but clinch the presidency if they can flip Texas. For the GOP, Montgomery County is critical to avert that.

Cruz survived by just 215,000 votes out of nearly 8.4 million last November. If he hadn't run up the score in Montgomery County, beating Beto O'Rourke by a 3-1 ratio and piling up 86,000 more votes, it would have been far closer.

This county alone accounted for 40% of his statewide margin of victory.

Posted by at September 29, 2019 2:06 PM

  

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