2020 Election: What are the chances of Texas turning blue?
AUSTIN, Texas - The last time Texas went blue in a Presidential election was 1976. But, what are the chances of that happening for this election? FOX 7 Austin spoke to Progress Texas and the Travis County GOP to see what they think about the upcoming election and what how they think it will play out.
“It’s going to be the closest presidential election we've seen in Texas in a generation,” said Ed Espinoza with Progress Texas. “And, I think that Biden has a chance to pull it out, but it’s going to be close."
However, Andy Hogue with the Travis County GOP has a differing opinion. “We’re still going to be a red state come tomorrow and come Wednesday, I think we're still going to be Republican Texas," he said.
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REPORTER: Specifically here in Texas, do you think there is a chance that Biden could win? That Texas could go Blue?
“I don’t think there is much of a chance,” said Hogue. “I mean if you look at it, Trump won Texas in 2016, and Beto O’Rourke didn't take the election in 2018 on that wave of enthusiasm. And, I think trump is only gaining support, I don’t think he is dropping support."
Espinoza disagrees, saying there is a good chance that Texas could go blue.
"Texas is the fastest-growing state in America,” he said. “We have a lot of new voters coming really from three different buckets: We have people moving here from other states, and they aren’t just moving here from one state, they are from all over. You have young voters who are voting in bigger numbers than they have ever have before, and then you have the Latino community that is starting to get mobilized and engaged. Those three buckets are really providing a ton of new voters to the overall pool and its changed the way of the electorate and it could potentially change the outcome of the elections."
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REPORTER: What if anything, do you think, could make Texas go blue?
“It would have to be a tectonic shift in the platforms of both parties,” said Hogue. “Right now, the Republican party captures the heart and soul of what it means to be a Texan: individualism, business freedom, strong Christian values. The Democratic party, while some people believe those values too, it reflects the Washington, D.C. version of that, and the special interest that make up the democratic party. So I just don’t feel that most Texans see the world that way."
Espinoza said the power of the Texas voter has never been stronger. “And the fact that we are a swing state speaks to that,” he said. “There is no preconceived notion that this election is complete - every vote counts."
REPORTER: Is Texas a battleground state?
"Texas is absolutely 100 percent, a battleground state,” Espinoza said. “We are the biggest battleground state. and you can see that in not only the way that people are covering not only what is happening right now but the fact that the polling, going as far back as June has shown this is a tight race in multiple polls."
Hogue said he rejects the idea that Texas is considered a toss-up.
“We can't buy into the fact that Texas is a toss-up,” he said. “I reject that strongly. I think we are a battle-ground but we are not a toss-up, we are still strongly Republican, and we are going to stay republican and we have done everything we can so far to stay republican. And, tomorrow, we are going to fight even harder to make it even more republican.”