Texas Republicans have reasons to be more nervous heading into a presidential election than they have in decades. The nomination of Trump to the top of the Republican ticket has put the Lone Star state into play.
A new poll from the University of Houston released Tuesday shows the presidential race in Texas is in a dead heat with Clinton surging as Trump sinks to unseen depths.
The poll found that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has support from 41 percent of the state’s likely voters to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 38 percent support in the state. Given the poll’s margin of error of +/- 3 percent, the presidential race in Texas is a statistical tie.
In the last five polls of Texas, Trump’s lead has shrunk from six points in mid-September to the latest poll showing just a three-point lead in mid-October. The poll was taken before the final presidential debate, in which Hillary was the clear winner.
The new polling and the possibility of flipping Texas goes a long way to explaining why Clinton recently made an investment in political advertising in Texas in the final weeks of the campaign.
Texas last went Democratic in a presidential election in 1976, backing Jimmy Carter. If the polls are correct, 2016 will be the first time since 1996 that the main parties are within 11 points of each other.
The potential of Texas turning blue has long been a dream of Democrats at the national level as flipping Texas would essentially halt any Republican from having an easy path to the White House.