Republicans in Texas are sounding the alarm that the reliably red state could flip blue in 2020, given current political trends, denying POTUS Donald Trump 38 crucial electoral votes he’d need to reach the required 270 to win reelection.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, state GOP officials are coordinating with the Republican National Committee to focus more resources on keeping the state reliably red ahead of the presidential race next year:
Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey has delivered this message to the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, GOP donors, and activists in the state. Nationally, Republican operatives and donors have historically taken Texas for granted and directed their financial and organizational muscle to more competitive regions. Separately, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, up for re-election next year, has spoken with new RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks, a Lone Star State native, about concerns that Trump could lose the state.
Along with other senior Texas Republicans, Dickey and Cornyn are moving to secure the money and grassroots support needed to withstand a feared Democratic surge statewide in 2020. If left unchecked, they are convinced Texas could turn blue in a presidential contest for the first time since 1976.
“The challenges we face in Texas are very real,” Dickey told the Washington Examiner recently.
Specifically, state Republicans cite as evidence that trends are moving in favor of Democrats:
— The too-close-for-comfort reelection victory of Sen. Ted Cruz, who beat back a serious challenge by El Paso Democratic Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke;
— The loss of two traditionally GOP Texas seats in the House of Representatives;
— The loss of swing seats in the state legislature.
Longtime state GOP operative Chris Homan said that Democrats won many of those contests because they were more energized, better funded, and better organized.
“Because of what happened organically on the Democrat side, Republicans in Texas have a large organizational gap that exists. In 2018, we simply did not have the kind of people and activists at the scale the Democrats enjoyed. This is a significant advantage the Democrats have going into this cycle,” Homan said.
Some say that Dem victories in Texas may have been a one-off, a fluke as the party of first-term presidents generally lose seats in Congress and elsewhere around the country.
Others, however, say the GOP can’t afford to take the chance.
O’Rourke is a possible presidential candidate, and another Texan, former Cabinet official Julian Castro, announced his candidacy last week. If either of them were to wind up on a Democratic presidential ticket that would automatically put the state in play.
“A lot of what it’s going to take is a unified effort,” Cornyn said, adding this dire warning: “If Texas turns back to a Democratic state, which it used to be, then we’ll never elect another Republican [president] in my lifetime.”
It should also be pointed out that POTUS Trump’s 2016 opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, garnered about 2.9 million more votes than he did (though almost all of them were in California). More importantly, she won 232 electoral votes; add in Texas’ 38 and that would have just given her the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to become president.
POTUS Trump would have just lost with 266.
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