Republicans have long idealized Texas as a deep-red frontier state, home to rural conservatives who love President Trump. But political turbulence in the sprawling suburbs and fast-growing cities are turning the Lone Star State into a possible 2020 battleground.
“The president’s reelection campaign needs to take Texas seriously,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said in an interview. He added that while he remains optimistic about the GOP’s chances, it is “by no means a given” that Trump will carry Texas — and its 38 electoral votes — next year or that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) will be reelected.
For a state that once elevated the Bush family and was forged into a Republican stronghold by Karl Rove, it is an increasingly uncertain time. Changing demographics and a wave of liberal activism have given new hope to Democrats, who have not won a statewide elective office since 1994 or Texas’s presidential vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976.