How Biden Will Impact Down-Ballot Texas Races In November

Biden could also see a “reverse coattails” boost from the wave of local organizing to flip the Texas House.

By Jill AmentJune 22, 2020 2:46 pm, ,

Recent polls of Texas voters show former vice president, and presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, would face a competitive match-up against President Donald Trump in November. But The Texas Tribune reports that despite the optimistic polling, it’s unclear how much Biden will invest in campaigning in Texas.

Abby Livingston is Washington bureau chief for the Tribune. She told Texas Standard host David Brown on Monday that Texas is an expensive place to campaign, and it might not be worth the investment. She says Democratic operatives believe that other states may fall from Republican control before Texas tabulation is completed and those other states are much less expensive places when it comes to campaign spending.

“So many other states will fall before Texas,” Livingston said. “Democrats will probably be so far past 270 electoral college delegates that they don’t need Texas to win. It could be icing on the cake.”

Instead of focusing on Biden, Livingston said Texas Democrats are more focused on flipping the Texas House of Representatives. That would give them more say in political redistricting in 2021, after the completion of the U.S. Census.

Plus, she said Biden could experience a “reverse coattails” boost if Democrats are successful on a local level in Texas.

“There is more organizing at the state legislature and at the U.S. House level than we’ve seen in a generation,” Livingston said. “And that could help Joe Biden as much as he could help down-ballot candidates.”

Even though polls are consistently showing that Biden could be a strong competitor against Trump in Texas in November, Democrats are taking those latest voter reads for granted.

“After 2016, Democrats will never feel confident on anything,” Livingston said.

Web story by Caroline Covington.

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