Ahead of the presidential elections, a new statewide poll by Texas Lyceum shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by one point in Texas in a survey of registered voters.
Often, presidential elections include some big surprises. Very few people predicted that President Obama would win the swing state of Florida in 2008. President Carter was beating his opponent, Ronald Reagan in the lead-up to the election by as much as eight points, but got trounced in the 1980 election. While polls and projections are important indicators of where a candidate stands in the most important race in the country, there are times when results prove to be a surprise.
The surprise state in the 2016 election, a surprise that no one in early 2015 or even in the past 40 years would have ever guessed, is shaping up to be Texas. Hands-down, Texas is historically one of the most conservative, deep red, Republican states and has been since 1976, when the state voted for the proudly Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter.
The southern state of Texas hung in with the Democratic party for just more one presidential election after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when many other southern states like Alabama and Louisiana, which were filled with Dixiecrat voters opposed to school and housing desegregation, began defecting to the Republican party. After their vote for Carter, Texas has remained a devotedly red state.
Polls in the past month, or since the election began running just under the 60-days-to-go mark, have indicated that the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is in a race that’s either too close to call or just slightly leading the GOP nominee Donald Trump in the deep red state of Texas.
Texas is one of the few states that was not won by the current GOP nominee during the primary elections. Ted Cruz, in his home state, beat Trump by a whopping 17.1 percent, which was unprecedented when compared to every other state in the Republican primaries. Clinton beat her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, by 32 percent of the votes, which indicates that Clinton has a fairly large support base in Texas. Despite Texas’s clear preference for Cruz in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the Democratic race, no one would have guessed that Texas would undergo such a massive shift.
For more on the polls in Texas, see video below: