The O’Rourke vs. Trump battle for Texas is on tonight

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On Thursday night, Beto O’Rourke is holding a campaign rally in the Dallas area to “directly confront Donald Trump’s dangerous hatred and division on the night he tries to spread it across the battleground state of Texas,” his campaign said.

Trump is scheduled to hold his own rally at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas on the same night. This will be his first visit to Texas since the impeachment inquiry began.

In a statement, president’s campaign says he will take credit at his rally for the state’s job growth. “Under President Trump’s leadership, 774,400 jobs have been added in Texas.” The nonpartisan investigative news outlet Pro Publica, however, found only 797 jobs nationwide are directly attributable to Trump. Many of the jobs that came to Texas over the past two years were planned before the president took office. So: He can’t take credit for them.

What this means

The dueling rallies indicate a fight for Texas. A recent poll shows O’Rourke is tied with or beating the president in the state.

To understand what any campaign is (actually) concerned about, watch what they do, not what they say. Here’s what Team Trump has been doing in Texas: spending heavily on digital advertising; campaigning in the state now four times this year; his surrogates’ (family and campaign manager) have fanned out over the state doing media appearances this week; and now, tonight, a massive rally. You don’t do all of this in a safe state.

Even the Republican Speaker of the Texas House, Dennis Bonnen, admitted Trump is “killing us in urban-suburban districts” in an audio recording released earlier this week.

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