The high voter turnout in Texas has awakened hopes in the Democratic Party that the Lone Star state could turn blue for the first time in more than four decades.
By Monday, more than nine million Texans had already cast their votes before the election on November 3, according to the US election project at the University of Florida.
Voter turnout so far has already exceeded the total number of votes cast for 2016 by 8 percent, with early voting increasing in every corner of the state, including Democratic strongholds such as Harris County, which includes Houston, and Bexar County.
These developments have given hope to Democratic strategists, who now see a chance to win some of the state’s 38 votes to support Joe Biden’s push for the White House.
A victory for Biden in Texas, which has not elected a Democratic candidate for president since 1976, would kill almost any chance of re-election for incumbent President Donald Trump.
A recent survey conducted by Mark Jones, professor of political science at Rice University, in cooperation with the University of Houston, found that Biden was the leader among those who had already voted, with a lead of 59 to 39 percent.
Trump, however, led by a similar margin among those who wanted to vote on November 3, according to the survey conducted October 13-20.
“The Democrats clearly dominate early turnout,” Jones told Reuters news agency. “The crucial question for Republicans is whether they can get their voters to vote on election day.
The leader of the Texas Republican Party, however, rejected speculation that the state might be about to turn blue for the first time in 44 years, saying he was “not ready” to be captured by the Democratic Party.
In an interview with Fox & Friends on Sunday, Allan West said that 2020 would instead see Trump win again in Texas, building on his 2016 success in the state.
“When President Trump comes here, and like before, you get an incredible response,” he said.
West added that Biden’s positions on issues such as fracking and the Second Amendment were rejected by Texans who, in his opinion, were against the “progressive, socialist, leftist policies” of the former vice president.
“Vice President Biden said he wanted a transition away from the oil and gas industry. That won’t work here in Texas,” he said. “Kamala Harris says she wants to take away the Second Amendment by executive order. That won’t work.”
National polls show that Biden currently has a lead of more than 8 percent over his rival.
But in Texas, the President and Biden are almost neck and neck according to the Five thirtyEight poll.
Trump, who led the state in the 2016 election with more than 53 percent of the vote, this time enjoys the support of just over 48 percent of voters, according to data collected by FiveThirtyEight. Biden now enjoys the support of just over 47 percent of the electorate.