For the first time in decades, Texas is a battleground state when it comes to picking the president but some Democrats are warning that President Donald Trump could win another term if Joe Biden supporters get overconfident.
The Biden campaign plans to spend $6 million on Texas campaign ads, more than any Democratic presidential nominee in decades, and The Lincoln Project, a group led by former Republican strategists working to defeat Trump, launched a $1 million digital ad campaign in the state.
According to a new poll conducted by EMC Research for Blue Texas PAC, an organization dedicated to flipping Texas to the Democratic party, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied at 49%.
Last week, in a poll commissioned by the Texas Democratic Party through Public Policy Polling, Trump and Biden both received 48% support in the Lone Star State , with 4% of respondents being undecided.
“This is historic. That shows you just how important Texas is to them and it shows that Texas is in play,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party. “It shows you their investment in Texas is real.” Rahman noted that Biden’s spending is the biggest investment from a Democratic presidential nominee in the last 25 years and is a drastic change from 2016, when then-nominee Hillary Clinton didn’t spend seriously in the state.
As part of its Texas TV spending, the Biden campaign is airing a minute-long spot in the El Paso and San Antonio media markets that features a Latino veteran, Paul Cruz. He contrasts’ Biden’s reverence for the military with Trump’s, noting Biden’s late son Beau, who served in the Army, “was one of us.”
“It takes a lot to be able to send your own child off to war,” Cruz says. “Joe Biden understands that decision, he understands sacrifice. “He’s experienced loss, and those losses allow growth. I believe that Joe Biden is the man for this time.”
Biden’s campaign also plans to air Spanish-language TV ads in some of the state’s top media markets, like Dallas and Houston, as well as border markets including El Paso and Laredo. The campaign says it will further reach voters of colors in Texas by advertising on national networks such as BET, Univision and Telemundo.
The campaign additionally plans to advertise during Dallas Cowboys games, including on ESPN Deportes.
This latest survey was conducted during the period including the first Presidential debate and the revelation of Trump’s tax returns by the New York Times, and when it was learned that Trump had COVID-19.
“Our research confirms what many public polls have shown: the race for President in Texas is a tossup,” said pollster Emily Goodman. “With less than a week before early voting in person begins, Vice President Biden has every opportunity to make history and flip Texas’ 38 electoral votes.”
The survey also found that voters are compelled by information that draws on Biden’s strength of character and perceived ability to manage the public health crisis, particularly in contrast with Trump’s handling of COVID-19 and “attitudes of entitlement at the expense of everyday Americans.”
Also, 78% of Biden voters intend to vote early in person vs. 9% on election day and 13% vote by mail.
Just 65% of Trump voters intend to vote early in person, vs. 31% on election day and 4% by mail.
Although Biden and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have yet to visit Texas in the run-up to Election Day, Democrats have called for the duo to invest heavily in Texas.
In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who endorsed Biden after dropping his own presidential bid, and Tory Gavito, the founder of Way to Win, urged the Biden campaign to steer serious money to the state to ensure that Trump doesn’t win a second term.
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