by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
From the outside, Texas appears troubling for President Trump in 2020 because of demographic changes that have featured a steady climb in the population of Hispanic voters.
But actually, the leftward drift, first evident in 2016 when Trump won Texas by less than 10 percentage points, is a byproduct of sharp opposition to the president in Texas’ burgeoning upscale suburbs that are dominated by whites, according to Texas Republican strategists.
In 2016, Trump lost suburban Houston’s 7th Congressional District and suburban Dallas’ 32nd Congressional District — both traditionally held by Republicans up and down the ballot — to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In 2018 the Republican incumbents who for several years had easily defended these House seats fell to Democratic challengers in the midterm elections. The president’s particularly low job approval ratings among women fueled the Democratic Party’s victories there, and Republicans worry that this situation could foreshadow what’s to come next year.
“It’s the suburbs,” Robin Armstrong, who represents Texas on the Republican National Committee, acknowledged in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “That’s basically the woman’s vote. We need to make sure that we’re engaging females and letting them know that we’re addressing their values and concerns.”