By Elizabeth Koh
September 6, 2016
A new poll by The Washington Post and online polling site SurveyMonkey suggests there may be another battleground for the already embattled Republican presidential nominee: Texas.
The poll, which sampled voters in all 50 states, showed opponent Hillary Clinton at 46 percent and Trump at 45 percent in the Lone Star State, suggesting Texas’ rapidly shifting demographics might tilt the historically red state more purple in the upcoming election.
Texas has not elected a single Democrat to statewide office in more than 20 years — the only Democrat to currently hold a statewide office changed his affiliation from Republican to Democrat after winning his seat on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. According to the Post, President Barack Obama also lost Texas by 16 points in his 2012 re-election bid, though Trump’s support has declined precipitously in recent polls during his campaign.
Texas Democrats have long hoped that the state’s growing Hispanic and Latino populations may put it in political play in future elections, and Clinton herself said in a New York Magazine article earlier this year that she hopes to be competitive in the state.
A national survey of Latino registered voters conducted by Latino Decisions showed they were substantially more likely to find Clinton a favorable candidate, with 68 percent in support. Trump, however, was likely to be viewed more unfavorably, with just 21 percent calling him a favorable candidate.
According to the 2010 census, Hispanics and Latinos made up nearly 38% of the state’s population. But the Post poll, citing the state’s electoral history, still predicts Trump is likely to win despite his current dead heat with the Democratic nominee.
The Post-SurveyMonkey poll also showed narrow races in North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona, which also has a long history of voting Republican. The poll was the largest undertaken by the Post, and included answers from more than 74,000 registered voters across the country throughout the month of August.
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