Here’s What it Would Take for Hillary Clinton to Win Texas

The electoral map has been mostly stable in its party divisions for more than a decade, but Clinton is looking to stir it up.

By Rhonda FanningJune 2, 2016 10:38 am

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton intends to rise to the challenge of that old Texas motto: Come and Take It.

In a recent interview with New York Magazine, journalist Rebecca Traister asked her to name a red state that she might be able steal out from the Republicans, with a candidate like Donald Trump:

Her eyes lit up; it’s as if she’d been waiting for someone to ask her about the surprising possibilities of the electoral map this year. So which states do you think Trump puts in play? …

“Texas!” she exclaimed, eyes wide, as if daring me to question this, which I did. “You are not going to win Texas,” I said. She smiled, undaunted. “If black and Latino voters come out and vote, we could win Texas,” she told me firmly, practically licking her lips.

Harold Cook, a long-time Democratic strategist and self-described Texas progressive, says the likelihood of Clinton winning Texas is a bridge pretty far.

“I will not sit here and tell you that Hillary Clinton cannot win Texas,” he says. “But if she does win Texas, the national GOP’s got a lot bigger problems than just losing the White House.”

Cook says if you look at the electoral map, the party line divisions are pretty stable. Blue states have stayed blue since 1992, Cook says. Red states, with very few exceptions, have stayed red. Only nine states are in play to swing one way or the other.

There is a chance Clinton could win Texas, Cook says, but a few things will need to happen first. This election would need high turnout among progressives and Democrats, and heavy crossover voting from independent voters – which Cook says is unusual because they often lean heavily Republican. Hispanic and African-American voters would also need to have high turnouts as well.

“You don’t have to have a campaign that excites anybody as long as you have an opponent that angers everybody,” Cook says.

Prepared for web by Beth Cortez-Neavel.