HOUSTON (FOX 26) - For Republicans in Texas, presidential nominee Donald Trump's coattails may be hardly worth grabbing. Recent polls have shown that Democrat Hillary Clinton is cutting her Lone Star State deficit to single digits -- an indication that a significant amount of conservative voters have no taste in Texas for "the Donald."
Perhaps more importantly, Trump's nativist talk and promise of a border wall may well trigger a long-awaited upsurge of Latino voter turnout.
"The worst thing that could happen to Republicans in Texas is if the Democrats get activated by something and if Trump is that activator," explained University of Houston political analyst Brandon Rottinghaus. "If he accelerates that vote, it could be damaging for the Republicans statewide and down ballot," That's particularly bad news for Republicans in urban areas like Harris County, which is tightly split along partisan lines.
Challenged by formidable opponents, Harris County GOP incumbents Sheriff Ron Hickman and District Attorney Devon Anderson could have trouble holding their jobs if the "Trump effect" sparks even a modest increase in Democratic turnout.
University of St. Thomas political analyst Jon Taylor said that the challenge is pretty clear for Republicans seeking re-election in the state's most populous county.
"Basically, be aware that the Trump effect may very well impact you and impact you negatively come November," said Taylor.
In an earlier interview with FOX 26 News, Rice University political analyst Mark Jones predicted that many Houston-area Republicans would have difficulty winning in November. With the polarizing Trump topping the ticket, Jones has upped the ante contending that GOP Harris County officeholders are now in "deep trouble."