Texas Democrats are getting some good news from D.C. pundits and prognosticators who are tracking the 2020 presidential campaign.
Nathan Gonzales, editor & publisher of Inside Elections and elections analyst for the D.C.-based publication Roll Call, changed his rating Tuesday of the U.S. Senate race in Texas from “solid Republican” to “likely Republican.” The momentum is moving away from Cornyn 18 months ahead of Election Day.
But, importantly, the field is not yet set on the Democratic side. Chris Bell, the Houston attorney, made it official last week that he’s in the race, joining already announced Sema Hernandez and Air Force veteran M.J. Hegar, who announced she raised $1 million in 77 days. Two other candidates are strongly considering a Senate run, too: Houston city council member Amanda Edwards and state senator Royce West of Dallas.
Still, Cornyn is bracing for a “brutal Texas reelection battle,” according to Politico, citing the senator’s early start to campaign season.
On the presidential front, CNN’s pundit of pundits Chris Cilliza looked at Texas’ battleground status last month.
“When you think of the handful of swing states where the 2020 presidential race will be decided, Texas probably isn’t top of mind,” he wrote. “But a new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests we might need to reassess that view.”
Washington Monthly dug into the numbers:
“…half the voters say they will vote one way and half say they will vote the other way more than meets the definition of a competitive race. The president has to be alarmed to see that he’s actually behind 43 percent to 39 percent among people who claim to have already decided. He does better with those who are less certain.”
The Hill even noted, “there is a significant and growing probability that Texas will become the most consequential swing state in presidential and senatorial elections to come. A campaign in the Lone Star State could cost President Trump the White House next year, even if Texas voters will ultimately choose him.”
Finally, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, no D.C. insider but a keen observer of politics, said on her show in May that Texas is a “wildcard” for Democrats. The Texas Signal’s view on Texas as a swing state — which it is — can be found here. The evidence is mounting.