Tag Archives: battleground states

Might the battleground be expanded for 2020?

Texas remains a “red” state. Just as California remains a “blue” state.

“Red” means Republican; “blue” means Democratic.

That is how political media and political operatives refer to the country. Red or blue. There’s also “purple,” which is what you get when you combine red with blue. “Purple” states are those that aren’t strongly either red or blue. It’s a blended color connoting the conflict between the parties for control of the political palette.

The midterm election drew a lot of eyes toward Texas. We had a competitive race for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Republican Ted Cruz. The Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, came within 3 percentage points of knocking Cruz off. That’s not supposed to happen in a strongly “red” state such as Texas. It did and now Democratic activists, strategists and assorted other partisans believe Texas stands on the cusp of turning purple.

Maybe. I would have thought so had Democrats been able to capture a single statewide office at the end of the midterm election balloting.

Here, though, is what might happen when the 2020 presidential campaign kicks into high gear: Texas might become much more of a “battleground state” that attracts presidential candidates for events other than closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers.

I’m beginning now to fantasize about big crowds gathering at rallies in Dallas or Fort Worth when the 2020 candidates start mapping out where the votes are.

Residents of places like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania long have been courted by presidential hopefuls. Texas? Pffftt!¬†The pols haven’t given so much as a first look, let alone a second look.

Democratic candidates for president have given up on Texas. Republican candidates have taken us for granted. Beto’s showing against Cruz might serve as a wakeup call for presidential candidates on both sides of the chasm.

Come the next election year, there could be a realization at campaign HQs in both parties that Texas’s 38 electoral votes are worth fighting for. We could see presidential nominees traipsing through State Fair crowds in Dallas in September of 2020. Our airwaves might be flooded with campaign ads. So might our mailboxes.

I’m not yet ready to declare that such an activity officially makes Texas a “purple” state. We’re still red, although after the midterm election it looks as though Texas isn’t quite as red as it has been since, oh, forever.

Trumpkins are locked in; time for Hillary to talk about herself


My wife and I live in the heart of Trump Country, the Texas Panhandle.

Donald J. Trump is likely to carry this part of the world by a wide margin. We’ve just returned from more parts of Trump Country. We visited Enid, Okla.; North Platte, Neb.; Rapid City, S.D.; Lusk, Wyo.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.

We’re home now, recuperating from two weeks on the road.

Of all the locations where we stayed, we found something interesting in Lusk and Colorado Springs: both cities are served by Colorado media outlets; Colorado is a “battleground state”; therefore¬†TV is full of ads from both Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I want to focus for a moment on the Clinton ads.

She’s going after Trump hard. The bulk of the TV ads we saw dealt with Trump’s feelings about women. You know to which I refer.

My thought is this: Trump’s hard-core supporters are locked in. Nothing that Clinton says about the hideous statements Trump has made about women is going to move them.

Three days out from Election Day, and it occurs to both of us that it’s time for Clinton to tell us what she intends to do if she’s elected president next Tuesday.

Trump’s advertising has been decidedly anti-Clinton. No surprise there. Trump doesn’t have a program. He doesn’t have any ideas that go beyond the usual platitudes and demagoguery.

Clinton, though, does have a record of working on behalf of children; she has worked to reform health care; she has served at the center of American foreign policy.

I think it would be helpful for her to tell us how she intends to improve our nation’s economic performance; how she intends to improve the Affordable Care Act; how she would strengthen our alliances.

I happen to believe that Trump is unfit to serve as president. Hillary doesn’t need to persuade me of anything regarding Trump — and she doesn’t have a prayer of converting the 40-plus percent of voters who already are aligned with Trump, who’ve stuck with him and will be with him for the duration.

Aw, what the heck. I’m not her campaign manager. She’s got a crack team already on board. Maybe they know what they’re doing, even if two voters who happen to live in the midst of Trump Country can’t figure them out.

Trump still not listening to advice


Eighty-seven days to go before Election Day.

Public opinion surveys are showing a clear trend: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is opening up a significant lead over Republican candidate Donald J. Trump.

The so-called “battleground states” are leaning increasingly toward Clinton.

So, where is Trump campaigning today? Is he in one of those battleground states battling Clinton tooth-and-nail?


No. He’s in Connecticut. The Nutmeg State hasn’t voted GOP since 1988. It won’t vote for Trump this time, either.

And this, I believe, sums up just why Trump is losing this campaign.

He’s got a campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who supposedly is an experienced hand. Is Manafort sending Trump into the belly of the beast? Does he actually believe Trump has a shot of winning Connecticut?

My guess: Probably not. Trump is continuing to march to his own cadence.

For someone who knows nothing about politics and even less about government, this is the “strategy” of a loser.