HOUSTON - Could Donald Trump be in genuine danger of losing Texas?
Since the middle of June, a half dozen polls have all shown Democrat Joe Biden either ahead or within striking distance of the incumbent President.
In the suburban community of Sugarland, where the pandemic has knocked the economy to a crawl, even Republican-leaning voters believe many folks will opt for change – any change.
“Yea, I think there are going to be people that end up switching no matter what,” said Jeff, a voter who said political discourse is so divisive he didn’t feel comfortable giving out his last name.
In Ft. Bend County and elsewhere, Biden will also benefit from what’s expected to be a larger than previously anticipated African-American turnout, fueled by the on-going social justice movement.
“Making sure that every woman and people of color are treated equally and fair,” said a 22-year-old African American woman who also declined to offer her full name.
But Rice political analyst Mark Jones contends these mid-summer poll numbers could be a bit deceptive and unreflective of the President’s latent support in a state that hasn’t gone Democrat since 1976.
“These polls certainly indicate Donald Trump certainly has a fight on his hands for Texas. When you add in the potential that many Republicans are skeptical of polls, pollsters or anyone in the mainstream media, adding in that there may be some shy Trump voters out there, people who don’t want to admit publicly that they are voting for Donald Trump, all that means is that these polls probably are a best-case scenario for Joe Biden rather than the middle of the road, most objective scenario for both candidates,” said Jones.
And Jones says the President’s relative weakness here is hurting Republicans further down the ballot in a year the GOP is scrambling to maintain full control of the Texas Legislature by preserving a narrow majority in the House.