Election countdown: 8 days

Texas is a red state with some purple and blue spots, like Austin and Houston. It’s gone red in every election since 1980, but there are some signs of change—if not this year, then in the near future. In 2016, Hillary lost by the smallest margin of any Democratic candidate since 1996. Beto O’Rourke’s challenge for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat was ultimately unsuccessful, but it broke national fundraising records and showed the strength of the Democratic Party in Texas. Hispanic/Latinx communities have turned Southwest Texas blue—it’s no longer just the blue island of Austin sitting alone in a sea of red. Incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn looks set to win re-election, and he’s distancing himself from Trump.

That said, I’m sceptical about the effort to “Turn Texas Blue”. There are still a lot of rural areas, a lot of evangelicals, and a lot of lifelong Republicans who aren’t going to be swayed. Trump won by over 800,000 votes in 2016. Trump is currently polling an average of 2 points ahead, which is a big shift downwards for a state he won by 9 points, but at the end of the day, he’s still in the lead and it’s still Texas.

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