The following is from the Oct. 20, 2016, edition of WOAI radio. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.
October 26, 2016
Even conservative media are souring on Texas' status as a reliable Republican state, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A Fox News electoral vote map now lists Texas as 'leans Republicans,' not the 'solid Republican' that the state has been for decades.
18 states remain 'solid Republican,' including much of the Mountain West, the deep south and Indiana and West Virginia.
But the shift of what has been the most Republican state in the union out of the 'solid Republican' list is an indication of several trends, most notably the rising Hispanic population in Texas and the inability of Donald Trump to connect with that population.
Cal Jillson, a political analyst at SMU, says this doesn't mean that Texas is 'turning Blue,' meaning leaning Democrat, but he does say it does show cracks in the solid Republican facade.
"I think this is just a reaction to Donald Trump as a weak candidate," Jillson said.
But many observers are concerned that Trump's inability to gather Hispanic votes in large numbers is setting back the party in Texas and could help usher in the time when Texas will not be a 'Democratic' state, but possibly a competitive state.
But Jillson says with the possible exception of the District 23 Congressional race between Republican incumbent Will Hurd and former Democratic Congressman Pete Gallego, there is no indication now that the 'Trump factor' is about to sweep Republican lawmakers in Congress or in the Legislature, out of office.
"The fact that Trump is only up by five or six or seven is just Trump and his weaknesses," Jillson said. "Texas is still a red state, no matter what happens in this election cycle."
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