Now that Labor Day is in the rearview, things are heating up. Every week, the Signal will bring you a round-up of the latest polling in Texas politics.
The Big News
All eyes are on the top of the ticket, as the race remains largely static nationally, but tightening at the state level in several swing states.
Which is the swingiest of the set? So far that’s us, y’all. Texas remains deadlocked in two new polls that surfaced this week. The first was a survey from Public Policy Polling on behalf of the gun responsibility group Giffords that found Joe Biden just one point away from overtaking President Donald Trump in the Lone Star State, with Trump registering at 48 and Biden at 47.
That one point deficit is striking fear in the heart of Republican strategists across the state, with Trump creating a powerful drag on down ballot races across the state from U.S. Senate to state legislative races. With Democrats on track to potentially pick up the nine seats they need to retake the State House majority, Trump is cooking up a recipe for disaster for Texas Republicans.
Which we prove even further with the latest Morning Consult poll, which has the race deadlocked at 46-46, the only battleground state literally tied in their poll.
All of this on top of a poll released this weekend showing Biden up 48-45.
A year ago, Republican strategists were loudly pontificating on Texas remaining a firmly red state in the 2020 presidential race. Time has only proven their folly, and Texas and its 38 electoral votes remain firmly in play.
Why it matters?
If the 2016 electoral map stayed exactly the same but Biden flipped Texas, he would win the electoral college. The 38 votes Texas can put in the blue column gives Democrats room for the unexpected in states like Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, and even creates a scenario where Democrats can lose those states, as well as Ohio and Florida and prevail.
Out of all the swing states, Trump is performing best in Ohio. National Democrats and the Biden campaign would be wise to look at the map and prioritize the emerging crown jewel of the Electoral College: Texas.
Big John in Big Trouble
Elsewhere in that same PPP poll they took a gander at the U.S. Senate race and found combat vet MJ Hegar breathing down the neck of little-known Senator John Cornyn. The poll found Cornyn at 44 and Hegar at 40, a three point improvement for Hegar in the past month.
The last week in this race has likely been good for Hegar, who drew national headlines and notched an appearance on Maddow to push back against Donald Trump’s repugnant comments about fallen and wounded soldiers. Hegar, a medevac pilot who helped wounded soldiers to safety and took shrapnel herself while serving our country, is a powerful voice for veterans at a time when Cornyn has little to show them from his tenure in Washington.
Toss-up in TX-21 Trending Davis
In what has proven to be one of the premier races in the country, the Wendy Davis campaign is out with an internal poll of their race against Chip Roy in the 21st Congressional District that has Davis in the driver’s seat, 48-47.
Davis has been on a glide path to making this swingy district a real pickup opportunity for Team Blue, and her television ads have been resonating with voters in and outside of Travis County. Roy is out with a new ad today, and this race is sure to remain one of the closest in the country, but with momentum on Team Wendy’s side.
In addition to the polling that’s been publicly released, Signal has heard from several credible sources about polling that hasn’t been made public, but will likely raise some eyebrows when it does. Our sources tell us the polling shows former Vice President Joe Biden over-performing in some interesting places, while an uptick in polling in competitive statehouse districts has continued to boost Democrats serotonin as their chances of taking back the statehouse improve every day.
We’ll be back next week with more updates.
Photo: Niyazz/Getty Images
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.