Texas becomes battleground?

The national political media continue feed my heebie-jeebies.

They talk about Joe Biden’s national polling lead over Donald Trump. They suggest there might be a Democratic “tsunami” about to sweep Trump and many of his Republican congressional sycophants out of office in Washington.

Why, many commentators are looking at a recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas-Tyler poll that puts the former vice president up by 5 percentage points over Trump. They use that poll result as evidence that Texas is about to cast its electoral votes for the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Whoa, now! Let’s hold on. Let’s catch our breath.

I am not yet ready to toss Texas into the Democrats’ sack of political goodies. This is among the reddest Republican states in the country. Every statewide elected official here is a Republican. It’s been an all-R state since 1998. The state’s transition from overwhelming Democrat to Republican has been stunning in the speed with which it occurred.

Is Joe Biden the Democratic presidential candidate to carry Texas across a new threshold? Hmm. I have trouble believing it, although my heart wishes it would happen.

As the Dallas Morning News reported: “I really do think that Biden could win Texas, and I didn’t think that as recently as even a month ago. But the landscape has shifted so much,” said Nancy Beck Young, chair of the University of Houston history department and a scholar of Texas politics.

The Morning News poll does suggest that since Texas is being stricken so cruelly by the COVID crisis that Texans at this moment are enraged by Trump’s feckless and reckless response to the emergency. That well might be reflected in the polling results.

I think it’s fair to suggest, though, that if Biden somehow manages to win more votes than Trump in Texas then we are looking at an epic political landslide that will bury Trump. Moreover, if Biden falls short by just a little bit — say, 2 or 3 percentage points — then that, too, might portend a significant political defeat for Donald Trump nationally.

Still, the media keep fueling my nervousness. I get that’s the media’s job. It is to report the news and polling statistics that suggest a staggering defeat of the self-proclaimed “smartest man in human history” — or words to that effect — most certainly should get our attention.

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